Chapter

Causal Explanation

Rowland Stout

in Things That Happen Because They Should

Published in print October 1996 | ISBN: 9780198240631
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191680212 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198240631.003.0003

Series: Oxford Philosophical Monographs

Causal Explanation

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Three reasons are used to interpolate a chapter on causal explanation into a book about agency. First, the book claims that both the Argument from False Beliefs and the Argument from the Impotence of Unrepresented Facts depend on bad theories of explanation. To make this claim convincing, the book shows what is wrong with the bad theories and provides a good theory in their place. Second, it shows that teleological explanation is a species of causal explanation, and how an account of teleological explanation emerges quite naturally from an account of causal explanation in general. Much of the philosophical literature on teleological explanation seems to be distorted for failing to take this route.

Keywords: causal explanation; unrepresented facts; teleological explanation; Argument from False Beliefs; philosophical literature; agency

Chapter.  16959 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Metaphysics

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