Philosophy Lexicon of Arguments

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Causation, Philosophy: It is difficult to locate influences that can be clearly defined as causes for concrete physical processes. The difficulty is also based on the fact that most authors of philosophy share an accepted skepticism concerning the observability of causality. (cf. D. Hume, An enquiry concerning human understanding, Oxford, 2000 und D. Hume, A treatise of human nature, Oxford 2007). See also single-case causation, causality, cause, causal explanation, best explanation, explanation, conditions, sufficiency, necessity, causal dependence, counterfactual dependence.

Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments.

Author Item Summary Meta data

Books on Amazon
V 36
Causation/counterfactual analysis/Lewis: (elsewhere) 1) relation cause/effect depends on the causal chain. - 2) causal chain is a particular type of counterfactual dependencies - 3) No reverse causation.
V 181
Causation/Lewis: E.g. assuming two redundant systems, one produces the effect with lower probability - I switch to that one. - Then I have caused the effect nevertheless. - Wrong: to assume that there would be several ways of how the world could be. (Various counterfactual conditionals). - Lewis: That would be a metaphysical burden. - It is not about a hidden property that might be present or not.
V 183
There is only one way the world is. - Both counterfactual conditionals are true or false by an arbitrary resolution of semantic indeterminacy. - But that is not a property of the world.
V 195
Redundant causation/Lewis: (multiple causes, which would also have been sufficient individually). - It is hard to decide whether the effects would have been different events. - Definition fragile: is an event that would have been different if it had been e.g. at a different time. - Events must not be too fragile. - Otherwise we have normal causation in redundant cases. - Whether redundancy is present may also depend on the standards of fragility. - Undecidable: E.g. whether a suspended performance is the same.

Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution.

D. Lewis
Die Identität von Körper und Geist Frankfurt 1989

D. Lewis
Konventionen Berlin 1975

D. Lewis
Philosophical Papers Bd I New York Oxford 1983

D. Lewis
Philosophical Papers Bd II New York Oxford 1986

LwCl I
Cl. I. Lewis
Mind and the World Order: Outline of a Theory of Knowledge (Dover Books on Western Philosophy) 1991

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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2017-11-22