Causation: A Very Short Introduction

Paperback | November 13, 2013

byStephen Mumford, Rani Lill Anjum

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Causation is the most fundamental connection in the universe. Without it, there would be no science or technology. There would be no moral responsibility either, as none of our thoughts would be connected with our actions and none of our actions with any consequences. Nor would we have asystem of law because blame resides only in someone having caused injury or damage. Any intervention we make in the world around us is premised on there being causal connections that are, to a degree, predictable. It is causation that is at the basis of prediction and also explanation. This Very Short Introduction introduces the key theories of causation and also the surroundingdebates and controversies. Do causes produce their effects by guaranteeing them? Do causes have to precede their effects? Can causation be reduced to the forces of physics? And are we right to think of causation as one single thing at all?

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Causation is the most fundamental connection in the universe. Without it, there would be no science or technology. There would be no moral responsibility either, as none of our thoughts would be connected with our actions and none of our actions with any consequences. Nor would we have asystem of law because blame resides only in someo...

Stephen Mumford is Professor of Metaphysics at the Department of Philosophy, University of Nottingham, and Dean of the Faculty of Arts. He has written several books on this topic, including Dispositions (OUP, 1998), Laws in Nature (Routledge, 2004), Getting Causes from Powers (with Rani Lill Anjum, OUP, 2011), and Metaphysics: A Very S...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:144 pages, 6.85 × 4.37 × 0.07 inPublished:November 13, 2013Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:019968443X

ISBN - 13:9780199684434

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Table of Contents

Introduction: why causation?1. The problem, or: what's the matter with causation?2. Regularity, or: causation without connection?3. Time and space, or: do causes occur before their effects?4. Necessity, or: do causes guarantee their effects?5. Counterfactual dependance, or: do causes make a difference?6. Physicalism, or: is it all transference?7. Pluralism, or: is causation many different things?8. Primitivism, or: is causation the most basic thing?9. Dispositionalism, or: what tends to be?10. Finding causes, or: where are they?A very short afterwordFurther readingIndex