Philosophical Studies

, Volume 132, Issue 1, pp 109–136

Structural equations and causation

Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s11098-006-9057-9

Cite this article as:
Hall, N. Philos Stud (2007) 132: 109. doi:10.1007/s11098-006-9057-9


Structural equations have become increasingly popular in recent years as tools for understanding causation. But standard structural equations approaches to causation face deep problems. The most philosophically interesting of these consists in their failure to incorporate a distinction between default states of an object or system, and deviations therefrom. Exploring this problem, and how to fix it, helps to illuminate the central role this distinction plays in our causal thinking.


Causation Counterfactuals Causal models Structural equations Defaults Deviants 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyHarvard UniversityCambridgeUSA

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