PhilSci Archive

Pre-emption cases may support, not undermine, the counterfactual theory of causation

Northcott, Robert (2018) Pre-emption cases may support, not undermine, the counterfactual theory of causation. [Preprint]

[img]
Preview
Text
Pre-emption 10.pdf

Download (285kB) | Preview

Abstract

Pre-emption cases have been taken by almost everyone to imply the unviability of the simple counterfactual theory of causation. Yet there is ample motivation from scientific practice to endorse a simple version of the theory if we can. There is a way in which a simple counterfactual theory, at least if understood contrastively, can be supported even while acknowledging that intuition goes firmly against it in pre-emption cases – or rather, only in some of those cases. For I present several new pre-emption cases in which causal intuition does not go against the counterfactual theory, a fact that has been verified experimentally. I suggest an account of framing effects that can square the circle. Crucially, this account offers hope of theoretical salvation – but only to the counterfactual theory of causation, not to others. Again, there is (admittedly only preliminary) experimental support for this account.


Export/Citation: EndNote | BibTeX | Dublin Core | ASCII/Text Citation (Chicago) | HTML Citation | OpenURL
Social Networking:
Share |

Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Northcott, Robertr.northcott@bbk.ac.uk0000-0001-8791-8364
Additional Information: forthcoming in Synthese
Keywords: causation, counterfactuals, pre-emption, psychology, error theory, experiment
Subjects: General Issues > Causation
General Issues > Experimentation
Depositing User: Dr Robert Northcott
Date Deposited: 27 Nov 2018 16:40
Last Modified: 27 Nov 2018 16:40
Item ID: 15381
Subjects: General Issues > Causation
General Issues > Experimentation
Date: 27 November 2018
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/15381

Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Monthly Downloads for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item