Chapter

Perception, Causal Understanding, and Locality

Christoph Hoerl

in Perception, Causation, and Objectivity

Published in print August 2011 | ISBN: 9780199692040
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191729713 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199692040.003.0013

Series: Consciousness & Self-Consciousness Series

Perception, Causal Understanding, and Locality

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Contemporary philosophical debates about causation are dominated by two approaches, which are often referred to as difference-making and causal process approaches to causation, respectively. I provide a characterization of the dialectic between these two approaches, on which that dialectic turns crucially on the question as to whether our common sense concept of causation involves a commitment to locality – i.e., to the claim that causal relations are always subject to spatial constraints. I then argue that we can extract from existing work on perceptual judgement (specifically work that invokes the notion of a simple theory of perception) materials for an argument in favour of a positive answer to that question, and that this work can also help to bring out a distinctive kind of role that a commitment to locality plays in our reasoning about causal relationships.

Keywords: causation; causal reasoning; perception; locality; counterfactual theories of causation; causal processes

Chapter.  12025 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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