The Ontology of Causal Process Theories
- Anton Froeyman
- … show all 1 hide
Purchase on Springer.com
$39.95 / €34.95 / £29.95*
Rent the article at a discountRent now
* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.
There is a widespread belief that the so-called process theories of causation developed by Wesley Salmon and Phil Dowe have given us an original account of what causation really is. In this paper, I show that this is a misconception. The notion of “causal process” does not offer us a new ontological account of causation. I make this argument by explicating the implicit ontological commitments in Salmon and Dowe’s theories. From this, it is clear that Salmon’s Mark Transmission Theory collapses to a counterfactual theory of causation, while the Conserved Quantity Theory collapses to David Fair’s phsyicalist reduction of causation.
- Chakravartty, A. (2005). Causal Realism: Events and Processes. Erkenntnis, 63, 7–31. CrossRef
- De Vreese, L. (2006). Pluralism in the Philosophy of Causation: Desideratum or not? Philosophica, 5–13.
- Dowe, P. (1992a). Wesley Salmon’s process theory of causality and the Conserved Quantity Theory. Philosophy of Science, 59(2), 195–216. Referred to as (Dowe 1992aa). CrossRef
- Dowe, P. (1992b). An Empiricist Defense of the Causal Account of Explanation. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science, 6, 123–128. Referred to as (Dowe 1992b). CrossRef
- Dowe, P. (1995). Causality and conserved quantities: a reply to Salmon. Philosophy of Science, 62(2), 321–333. CrossRef
- Dowe, P. (2000). Physical Causation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. CrossRef
- Fair, D. (1979). Causation and the Flow of Energy. Erkenntnis, 14, 219–250. CrossRef
- Handfield, T., Twardy, C., Korb, K., & Oppy, G. (2008). The Metaphysics of Causal Models. Erkenntnis, 68, 149–168. CrossRef
- Hitchcock, C. (1995). Salmon on explanatory relevance. Philosophy of Science, 62(2), 304–320. CrossRef
- Kitcher, P. (1989). Explanatory unification and the causal structure of the world. In P. Kitcher & W. Salmon (Eds.), Scientific Explanation, Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science Volume XIII (pp. 410–506). Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
- Russell, B. (1948). Human knowledge. Its scope and limits. London: George Allen and Unwin LTD.
- Russell, B. (1953). On the notion of cause, with applications to the free-will problem. In H. Feigl & M. Brodbeck (Eds.), Readings in the philosophy of science. New York: Appleton.
- Salmon, W. (1984). Scientific explanation and the causal structure of the world. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
- Salmon, W. (1994). Causality without counterfactuals. Philosophy of Science, 61(2), 297–312. CrossRef
- Salmon, W. (1997). A reply to two critiques. Philosophy of Science, 64(3), 461–477. CrossRef
- The Ontology of Causal Process Theories
Volume 40, Issue 3 , pp 523-538
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Springer Netherlands
- Additional Links
- Process theories of causation
- Ontological commitments
- Anton Froeyman (1)
- Author Affiliations
- 1. Centre for Critical Philosophy, Department of Philosophy and Moral Sciences, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium