Advertisement

Metascience

, 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...

References

  1. Armstrong, D.M. 1997. A world of states of affairs. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Lowe, E.J. 2010. On the individuation of powers. In The metaphysics of powers, ed. A. Marmodoro, London and New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  3. Marmodoro, A. 2007. The union of cause and effect in Aristotle: Physics III 3. Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy, Vol. 32, 205–232.Google Scholar
  4. Marmodoro, A. (ed.). 2010. The metaphysics of powers. London and New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  5. Marmodoro, A. 2013a. Causation without glue: Aristotle on causal powers. Forthcoming in Aitia. Les Quatre Causes d'Aristote. Origins et interprétations. ed. C. Natali, C. Viano and M. Zingano. Louvain: Peeters.Google Scholar
  6. Marmodoro, A. 2013b. Potentiality in Aristotle's metaphysics. In The Handbook of Potentiality, ed. K. Engelhard and M. Quante. Springer.Google Scholar
  7. Marmodoro, A., unpublished. Aristotelian powers at work: Reciprocity without symmetry in causation.Google Scholar
  8. Martin, C.B. 2007. The mind in nature. New York: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Molnar, G. 2003. Powers: a study in metaphysics. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  10. Mumford, S. 2009. Passing powers around. The Monist 92: 94–111.Google Scholar
  11. Nadler, S. (ed.). 1993. Causation in early modern philosophy. Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania State University Press.Google Scholar
  12. O’Neill, E. 1993. Influxus physicus. In Nadler 1993: 27–55.Google Scholar
  13. Scaltsas, T. 1989. The logic of the dilemma of participation and of the third man argument. Apeiron 22: 67–90.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Whitehead, A. N. 1929. Process and reality. In eds. D. R. Griffin and D. W. Sherburne New York: The Free Press. (1978).Google Scholar

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

Personalised recommendations