Chapter

Third time's a charm: Causation, science and Wittgensteinian pluralism

Julian Reiss

in Causality in the Sciences

Published in print March 2011 | ISBN: 9780199574131
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191728921 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199574131.003.0042
Third time's a charm: Causation, science and Wittgensteinian pluralism

Show Summary Details

Preview

Pluralism about causation seems to be an attractive option as the term seems to defy analysis in terms of necessary and sufficient conditions. This chapter examines a specific form of conceptual pluralism about causation, one that has been termed ‘Wittgensteinian’. The chapter presents three such accounts in detail. All three accounts share the rejection of attempting to define ‘cause’ in terms of necessary and sufficient conditions, and they regard instances of causal relationships to share family resemblance at best. After criticizing and rejecting two earlier accounts, the chapter develops an alternative that, to the best of current knowledge, does not suffer from the deficiencies of its fellows and is more firmly grounded in some of Wittgenstein's ideas about meaning.

Keywords: causation; conceptual analysis; pluralism; Wittgenstein

Chapter.  9671 words. 

Subjects: Logic

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.