Causation and Explanation

Overview

This collection of original essays on the topics of causation and explanation offers readers a state-of-the-art view of current work in these areas. The book is notable for its interdisciplinary character, and the essays, by distinguished authors and important rising scholars, will be of interest to a wide readership, including philosophers, computer scientists, and economists. Students and scholars alike will find the book valuable for its wide-ranging treatment of two ...
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Overview

This collection of original essays on the topics of causation and explanation offers readers a state-of-the-art view of current work in these areas. The book is notable for its interdisciplinary character, and the essays, by distinguished authors and important rising scholars, will be of interest to a wide readership, including philosophers, computer scientists, and economists. Students and scholars alike will find the book valuable for its wide-ranging treatment of two difficult philosophical topics.

The volume focuses first on the development of theories of causation and explanation, and then on the application of those theories. Theoretical discussions include Patrick Suppes's investigation of the causal issues surrounding intentional activities such as computation and decision making, and Clark Glymour and Frank Wimberly's analysis of technical issues encountered in formulating an account of actual causation. The essays exploring applications include Nancy Cartwright's examination of the application of counterfactuals to economics and Alfred Mele's criticism of the work of Benjamin Libet on the applicability of experimental results in psychology to philosophical analyses of free will and self-control. Causation and Explanation offers a remarkably wide-ranging set of essays on two topics that present difficult philosophical issues.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780262033633
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • Publication date: 7/1/2007
  • Series: Topics in Contemporary Philosophy
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.56 (d)

Meet the Author

Joseph Keim Campbell is Professor in the Department of Philosophy at Washington StateUniversity.

Michael O'Rourke is Professor in the Department of Philosophy at Michigan StateUniversity.

Harry S. Silverstein is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Philosophy at Washington StateUniversity, and coeditor of three previous volumes in the Topics in Contemporary Philosophy series,Causation and Explanation (2007), Knowledge and Skepticism (2010), and Time and Identity (2010), all published by the MIT Press.

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Table of Contents


Acknowledgments     vii
Introduction   Raymond Dacey     ix
Explaining Four Psychological Asymmetries in Causal Reasoning: Implications of Causal Assumptions for Coherence   Patricia W. Cheng   Laura R. Novick   Mimi Liljeholm   Christina Ford     1
Causality and Computation   Patrick Suppes     33
Actual Causes and Thought Experiments   Clark Glymour   Frank Wimberly     43
What's Wrong with Neuron Diagrams?   Christopher Hitchcock     69
Mackie Remixed   Michael Strevens     93
Occasional Causes   Russell Wahl     119
In Defense of Explanatory Deductivism   Bruce Glymour     133
Goal-Directed Action and Teleological Explanation   Scott R. Sehon     155
Van Fraassen's Dutch Book Argument against Explanationism   Dorit Ganson     171
Counterfactuals in Economics: A Commentary   Nancy Cartwright     191
Why Don't You Want to Be Rich? Preference Explanation on the Basis of Causal Structure   Till Grune-Yanoff     217
Decisions, Intentions, Urges, and Free Will: Why Libet Has Not Shown What He Says He Has   Alfred R. Mele     241
ConstitutiveOverdetermination   L. A. Paul     265
Ex nihilo nihil fit: Arguments New and Old for the Principle of Sufficient Reason   Alexander Pruss     291
Index     311
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