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Halfway Proportionality

Vaassen, Bram (2022) Halfway Proportionality. [Preprint]

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Abstract

According to the so-called ‘proportionality principle’, causes should be proportional to their effects: they should be both enough and not too much for the occurrence of their effects. This principle is the subject of an ongoing debate. On the one hand, many maintain that it is required to address the problem of causal exclusion and take it to capture a crucial aspect of causation. On the other hand, many object that it renders accounts of causation implausibly restrictive and often reject the principle wholesale. I argue that there is exaggeration on both sides. While one half of the principle is overly demanding, the other half is unobjectionable. And while the unobjectionable half does not block exclusion arguments on its own, it provides a nuanced picture of higher-level causation, fits with recent developments in philosophy of causation, and motivates adjustments to standard difference-making accounts of causation. I conclude that at least half of the proportionality principle is worth taking seriously.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Vaassen, Bramvaassenbram@gmail.com0000-0001-6423-1324
Keywords: Proportionality Causation Causal exclusion Causal explanation Exclusion arguments Higher-level causation Difference-making
Subjects: General Issues > Causation
Depositing User: Dr. Bram Vaassen
Date Deposited: 09 Sep 2022 20:00
Last Modified: 09 Sep 2022 20:00
Item ID: 21129
Journal or Publication Title: Philosophical Studies
Publisher: Springer
Official URL: https://link-springer-com.proxy.ub.umu.se/article/...
DOI or Unique Handle: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11098-022-01803-8
Subjects: General Issues > Causation
Date: 2022
Page Range: pp. 2823-2843
Volume: 179
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/21129

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