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Causal foundationalism, physical causation, and difference-making

Glynn, L; (2013) Causal foundationalism, physical causation, and difference-making. Synthese , 190 (6) pp. 1017-1037. 10.1007/s11229-011-0058-7. Green open access

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Abstract

An influential tradition in the philosophy of causation has it that all token causal facts are, or are reducible to, facts about difference-making. Challenges to this tradition have typically focused on pre-emption cases, in which a cause apparently fails to make a difference to its effect. However, a novel challenge to the difference-making approach has recently been issued by Alyssa Ney. Ney defends causal foundationalism, which she characterizes as the thesis that facts about difference-making depend upon facts about physical causation. She takes this to imply that causation is not fundamentally a matter of difference-making. In this paper, I defend the difference-making approach against Ney’s argument. I also offer some positive reasons for thinking, pace Ney, that causation is fundamentally a matter of difference-making.

Type: Article
Title: Causal foundationalism, physical causation, and difference-making
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1007/s11229-011-0058-7
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11229-011-0058-7
Language: English
Additional information: The final publication is available at Springer via http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11229-011-0058-7.
Keywords: Causation, Difference-making, Causal foundationalism, Physical causation, Processes
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Dept of Philosophy
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1406967
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