Challenges to Characterizing the Notion of Causation Across Disciplinary Boundaries: Comment on Faye

  • Jan BaedkeEmail author
Part of the The Philosophy of Science in a European Perspective book series (PSEP, volume 5)


This paper comments on Jan Faye’s metadisciplinary characterization of the notion of causation. I will argue that his understanding of a causal factor as a difference-maker can be specified by relating it to similarity considerations and analogical reasoning about causal dependencies. At the same time, however, his notion of a difference-maker does not capture what is understood as a cause in many biological and biophysical investigations of robustness of living systems (e.g. in systems biology). Finally, I will show that Faye ignores crucial differences between causal processes and causal mechanisms.


Dependency Relation Causal Process Analogical Reasoning High Vertebrate Causal Dependency 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



I thank Dan Brooks, Jessica Pahl, Helmut Pulte, Jani Raerinne and Marcel Weber for constructive comments on earlier versions of this paper. Financial support from the Ruhr University Research School (RURS) is gratefully acknowledged.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Philosophy IRuhr University BochumBochumGermany

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