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Theories of Causation and the Causal Exclusion Argument

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There are a wide variety of theories of causation available in the philosophical literature. For the philosopher working in philosophy of mind, who makes use of causal concepts, what is to be made of this embarrassment of riches? By considering a variety of theoretical perspectives, she can discover which principles or assumptions about causation are robust, and which hold only within particular frameworks. In particular, she should be suspicious when the different premises in an argument can only be made true by shifting between different theories of causation. I illustrate these themes using the causal exclusion argument.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Division of Humanities and Social Sciences, California Institute of Technology, Email:

Publication date: January 1, 2012


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