Chapter

Causality Without Counterfactuals

Wesley C. Salmon

in Causality and Explanation

Published in print May 1998 | ISBN: 9780195108644
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199833627 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0195108647.003.0017
Causality Without Counterfactuals

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The author replaces his earlier explication of causal processes in terms of capacity for mark transmission with an analysis of the capacity for transmission of conserved quantities. This new theory was formulated in response to criticisms of Phil Dowe and Philip Kitcher. It relies heavily on modified versions of the seminal ideas of Phil Dowe, and overcomes a number of difficulties faced by the author's previous view. It eliminates a philosophically undesirable dependence on counterfactual conditions; it provides analyses of Y and λ types of causal interactions; and it suggests an avenue for avoiding problems about laws of nature.

Keywords: causal interactions; conserved quantities; counterfactuals; Dowe; Kitcher; laws of nature; transmission

Chapter.  7012 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Science

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