, Volume 76, Issue 1, pp 1-22,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 19 Oct 2011

Causation Without Influence

Abstract

David Lewis’s latest theory of causation defines the causal link in terms of the relation of influence between events. It turns out, however, that one event’s influencing another is neither a necessary nor sufficient condition for its being a cause of that event. In the article one particular case of causality without influence is presented and developed. This case not only serves as a counterexample to Lewis’s influence theory, but also threatens earlier counterfactual analyses of causation by admitting a particularly troublesome type of preemption. The conclusion of the article is that Lewis’s influence method of solving the preemption problem fails, and that we need a new and fresh approach to the cases of redundant causation if we want to hold on to the counterfactual analysis of causation.