Article

Regularity Theories

Stathis Psillos

in The Oxford Handbook of Causation

Published in print November 2009 | ISBN: 9780199279739
Published online January 2010 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199279739.003.0008

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Philosophy

 Regularity Theories

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This article articulates Regularity View of Causation (RVC) with an eye to two things: first, its conceptual development; second, its basic commitments and implications for what causation is. The article has chosen to present RVC in a way that respects its historical origins and unravels the steps of its articulation in the face of objections and criticism. It is important for the explication and defence of RVC to see it as a view of causation that emerged in a certain intellectual milieu. RVC has been developed as an attempt to remove efficiency from causation and hence, to view causation not as a productive relation but as a relation of dependence among discrete events. In particular, the thought that causation is regularity is meant to oppose metaphysical views of causation that posit powers or other kinds of entity that are supposed to enforce the regularities that there are in the world or to explain the alleged necessity that there is in causation.

Keywords: Regularity View of Causation; causation; dependence; regularities; metaphysics; regularity theories

Article.  12985 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; Metaphysics ; Philosophy of Science

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