Getting Causes from Powers

Paperback | January 4, 2015

byStephen Mumford, Rani Lill Anjum

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Causation is everywhere in the world: it features in every science and technology. But how much do we truly understand it? Do we know what it means to say that one thing is a cause of another and do we understand what in the world drives causation? Getting Causes from Powers develops a new andoriginal theory of causation based on an ontology of real powers or dispositions. Others have already suggested that this ought to be possible, but no one has yet performed the detailed work. Stephen Mumford and Rani Lill Anjum argue here that the completed theory will not look exactly as anyone hasyet anticipated, and that a thoroughly dispositional theory of causation has some surprising features, for instance with respect to modality. The book is not restricted to the metaphysics of causation, but treats a variety of topics such as explanation, perception, modelling, the logic of causal claims, transitivity, and nonlinearity, and the empirical credentials of the theory are tested with reference to biology.

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Causation is everywhere in the world: it features in every science and technology. But how much do we truly understand it? Do we know what it means to say that one thing is a cause of another and do we understand what in the world drives causation? Getting Causes from Powers develops a new andoriginal theory of causation based on an on...

Stephen Mumford is Professor of Metaphysics and Head of the School of Humanities at the University of Nottingham. He gained his PhD from Leeds in 1994 and then wroteDispositions (OUP 1998), Laws in Nature (Routledge 2004), and David Armstrong (Acumen 2007), as well as editing Russell on Metaphysics (Routledge 2003) and George Molnar's...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:272 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.01 inPublished:January 4, 2015Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198709625

ISBN - 13:9780198709626

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Table of Contents

Preface1. Passing Powers Around2. Modelling Causes as Vectors3. Against Necessity4. Reductionism, Holism, and Emergence5. Simultaneity6. Explanation, Absences, and Counterfactuals7. The Logic of Causation8. Primitive Modality9. Perceiving Causes10. A Biologically Disposed Theory of CausationConclusionBibliographyIndex

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