Journal Article

Mellor on Chance and Causation<sup>1</sup>

Dorothy Edgington

in The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science

Published on behalf of British Society for the Philosophy of Science

Volume 48, issue 3, pages 411-433
Published in print September 1997 | ISSN: 0007-0882
Published online September 1997 | e-ISSN: 1464-3537 | DOI:
Mellor on Chance and Causation1

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Mellor's subject is singular causation between facts, expressed ‘E because C’. His central requirement for causation is that the chance that E if C be greater than the chance that E if ∼C: chc(E)>ch∼c(E). The book is as much about chance as it is about causation. I show that his way of distinguishing chc (E) from the traditional notion of conditional chance leaves than him with a problem about the existence of chQ(P) when Q is false (Section 3); and also that any notion of chance which conforms to the standard calculus has wider application than the causal instances to which Mellor's notion is restricted (Section 8). Other topics discussed may be gleaned from the headings below.

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Subjects: Philosophy of Science ; Science and Mathematics

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