Abstracta Are Causal
Many philosophers think all abstract objects are causally inert. Here, focusing on novels, I argue that some abstracta are causally efficacious. First, I defend a straightforward argument for this view. Second, I outline an account of object causation—an account of how objects (as opposed to events) cause effects. This account further supports the view that some abstracta are causally efficacious.
KeywordsAbstract objects Causation Object causation Novels Dodd
For helpful comments and discussion, thanks to Mark Balaguer, James Van Cleve, Sam Cumming, Katrina Elliott, Ashley Feinsinger, Deborah Friedell, Pamela Hieronymi, Andrew Jewell, Tim Juvshik, Dominic Lopes, Michaela McSweeney, Eliot Michaelson, Margaret Moore, Terence Parsons, Jessica Pepp, Gabe Rabin, Katherine Ritchie, Sheldon Smith, John Woods, Michel-Antoine Xhignesse, and audiences at the University of British Columbia, Temple University, Occidental College, and the Central European University Summer School in Ontology and Metaontology.
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