, Volume 22, Issue 3, pp 545–559 | Cite as

Causes as powers

Stephen Mumford and Rani Lill Anjum: Getting causes from powers. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011, 272pp, £35 HB
  • Jennifer McKitrickEmail author
  • Anna Marmodoro
  • Stephen Mumford
  • Rani Lill Anjum
Book Symposium

Jennifer McKitrick

Mumford and Anjum’s Getting Causes from Powers is an ambitious and original contribution to the literature on causation, a welcome departure from Humean approaches which reductively analyze causation in terms of regularities or counterfactual conditionals. The authors develop an account of causation as the exercising of powers, a view they call “causal dispositionalism.” This critique of Getting Causes from Powersis organized around its central heuristic—the vector model of causation. On this model, vectors represent the exercising of powers, those that are operating upon a quality space. A quality space is a background against which events can occur, where two or more general properties are considered as possible for instantiation. A central line represents a starting point of a causal process, and vectors represent the powers in play. A vector is apt for representing a power because it has intensity and a direction, indicated by its length and the property term...


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jennifer McKitrick
    • 1
    Email author
  • Anna Marmodoro
    • 2
  • Stephen Mumford
    • 3
    • 4
  • Rani Lill Anjum
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of Nebraska-LincolnLincolnUSA
  2. 2.Faculty of PhilosophyUniversity of OxfordOxfordUK
  3. 3.Philosophy DepartmentUniversity of NottinghamNottinghamUK
  4. 4.Department of Economics and Resource ManagementNorwegian University of Life Sciences (UMB)ÅsNorway

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