Philosophy Dictionary 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 Concept Summary/Quotes Sources

David K. Lewis on Causation - Dictionary of Arguments

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.
>Counterfactual dependence/Lewis, >Counterfactual conditional/Lewis, cf. >Causal dependence/Lewis, >Causality/Lewis, >Cause/Lewis, >Causal explanation/Lewis.
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.
>Possible world/Stalnaker.
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. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Concept/Author], [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] resp. "problem:"/"solution:", "old:"/"new:" and "thesis:" is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

Lewis I
David K. Lewis
Die Identität von Körper und Geist Frankfurt 1989

Lewis I (a)
David K. Lewis
An Argument for the Identity Theory, in: Journal of Philosophy 63 (1966)
Die Identität von Körper und Geist, , Frankfurt/M. 1989

Lewis I (b)
David K. Lewis
Psychophysical and Theoretical Identifications, in: Australasian Journal of Philosophy 50 (1972)
Die Identität von Körper und Geist, , Frankfurt/M. 1989

Lewis I (c)
David K. Lewis
Mad Pain and Martian Pain, Readings in Philosophy of Psychology, Vol. 1, Ned Block (ed.) Harvard University Press, 1980
Die Identität von Körper und Geist, , Frankfurt/M. 1989

Lewis II
David K. Lewis
"Languages and Language", in: K. Gunderson (Ed.), Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science, Vol. VII, Language, Mind, and Knowledge, Minneapolis 1975, pp. 3-35
Handlung, Kommunikation, Bedeutung, Georg Meggle, Frankfurt/M. 1979

Lewis IV
David K. Lewis
Philosophical Papers Bd I New York Oxford 1983

Lewis V
David K. Lewis
Philosophical Papers Bd II New York Oxford 1986

Lewis VI
David K. Lewis
Convention. A Philosophical Study, Cambridge/MA 1969
German Edition:
Konventionen Berlin 1975

Clarence Irving Lewis
Collected Papers of Clarence Irving Lewis Stanford 1970

LewisCl I
Clarence Irving 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 2023-06-04
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