The Necessity of Causes

J. L. Mackie

in The Cement of the Universe

Published in print September 1980 | ISBN: 9780198246428
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191597954 | DOI:

Series: Clarendon Library of Logic and Philosophy

 The Necessity of Causes

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Chapter 8 is concerned with providing a defensible account of necessity to accompany the account of causation already suggested. Mackie first examines notions of necessity found in regularity theories and lists seven tasks that necessity may be expected to perform. Mackie argues that one of the central tasks of the notion of necessity is the provision of a basis with which to distinguish causal from non‐causal regularities. Mackie puts forward his own theory of necessity and argues that although counterfactual conditionals can lend support to this account, they are not to be thought of as being identical with the account.

Keywords: counterfactuals; necessity; regularities; regularity theory

Chapter.  15652 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Metaphysics

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