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Actual causation and compositionality

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journal contribution
posted on 16.09.2022, 18:34 authored by J Livengood, Justin SytsmaJustin Sytsma
Many theories of actual causation implicitly endorse the claim that if c is an actual cause of e, then either c causes e directly or every intermediary by which c indirectly causes e is itself both an actual cause of e and also an actual effect of c. We think this composi-tionality constraint is plausible. However, as we show, it is not always satisfied by the causal attributions ordinary people make. We conclude by considering what philosophers working on causation should do when the deliverances of their theories diverge from what ordinary people say.

History

Preferred citation

Livengood, J. & Sytsma, J. (2020). Actual causation and compositionality. Philosophy of Science, 87(1), 43-69. https://doi.org/10.1086/706085

Journal title

Philosophy of Science

Volume

87

Issue

1

Publication date

01/01/2020

Pagination

43-69

Publisher

Cambridge University Press (CUP)

Publication status

Published

Online publication date

01/01/2022

ISSN

0031-8248

eISSN

1539-767X

Language

en

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