, Volume 78, Supplement 1, pp 65–84 | Cite as

The Interventionist Account of Causation and Non-causal Association Laws



The key idea of the interventionist account of causation is that a variable A causes a variable B if and only if B would change if A were manipulated in an appropriate way. I argue that Woodward’s (Making things happen. Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2003) version of interventionism does not provide a sufficient condition for causation, insofar as it is not adequate for manipulations grounded on association laws. Such laws, which express relations of mutual dependence between variables, ground manipulative relationships which are not causal. I suggest that the interventionist analysis is sufficient for nomological dependence rather than for causation.


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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.IHPST, Université Paris 1 Panthéon-SorbonneParisFrance

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