Causation: A Very Short Introduction

Causation: A Very Short Introduction

by Stephen Mumford, Rani Lill Anjum


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Causation: A Very Short Introduction by Stephen Mumford, Rani Lill Anjum

Causation is the most fundamental connection in the universe. Without it, there would be no science or technology. There would be no moral responsibility either, as none of our thoughts would be connected with our actions and none of our actions with any consequences. Nor would we have a system of law because blame resides only in someone having caused injury or damage.

Any intervention we make in the world around us is premised on there being causal connections that are, to a degree, predictable. It is causation that is at the basis of prediction and also explanation. This Very Short Introduction introduces the key theories of causation and also the surrounding debates and controversies.

About the Series:
Oxford's Very Short Introductions series offers concise and original introductions to a wide range of subjects—from Islam to Sociology, Politics to Classics, Literary Theory to History, and Archaeology to the Bible. Not simply a textbook of definitions, each volume in this series provides trenchant and provocative—yet always balanced and complete—discussions of the central issues in a given discipline or field. Every Very Short Introduction gives a readable evolution of the subject in question, demonstrating how the subject has developed and how it has influenced society. Eventually, the series will encompass every major academic discipline, offering all students an accessible and abundant reference library. Whatever the area of study that one deems important or appealing, whatever the topic that fascinates the general reader, the Very Short Introductions series has a handy and affordable guide that will likely prove indispensable.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780199684434
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication date: 01/01/2014
Series: Very Short Introductions Series
Pages: 144
Sales rank: 374,185
Product dimensions: 8.30(w) x 5.40(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Stephen Mumford, Professor of Metaphysics at the Department of Philosophy, University of Nottingham,Rani Lill Anjum, Research Fellow in Philosophy, Norwegian University of Life Sciences (UMB)

Stephen Mumford is Professor of Metaphysics at the Department of Philosophy, University of Nottingham, and Dean of the Faculty of Arts. He has written several books on this topic, including Dispositions (OUP, 1998), Laws in Nature (Routledge, 2004), Getting Causes from Powers (with Rani Lill Anjum, OUP, 2011), and Metaphysics: A Very Short Introduction (OUP, 2012).

Rani Lill Anjum is Research Fellow at the Norwegian University of Life Science where she leads the Causation in Science research project (CauSci). CauSci is a global network for those interested in a scientifically informed philosophy of causation. She has written many popular articles in magazines and newspapers and delivered numerous talks for non-specialist audiences. She is the co-author of Getting Causes from Powers (OUP, 2011).

Table of Contents

Introduction: why causation?
1. The problem, or: what's the matter with causation?
2. Regularity, or: causation without connection?
3. Time and space, or: do causes occur before their effects?
4. Necessity, or: do causes guarantee their effects?
5. Counterfactual dependance, or: do causes make a difference?
6. Physicalism, or: is it all transference?
7. Pluralism, or: is causation many different things?
8. Primitivism, or: is causation the most basic thing?
9. Dispositionalism, or: what tends to be?
10. Finding causes, or: where are they?
A very short afterword
Further reading

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