Ernest Sosa pp 85-99 | Cite as

Causation, Constitution, and Existence

Sosa on Interlevel Relations
  • Gordon Leonhard
  • Paul M. NägerEmail author
  • Andreas Schäfers
Part of the Münster Lectures in Philosophy book series (MUELP)


Contemporary debates about mechanisms in the philosophy of science raise the question about the relation between constitutive and causal relations. These discussions so far have not received Ernest Sosa’s “Varieties of Causation” (1980), which addresses similar questions from a metaphysical point of view. The present paper reconstructs and evaluates Sosa’s arguments from the perspective of the contemporary debates. We argue that while Sosa’s arguments are probably not suited to advance the current debate, his claim that there are different varieties of causation might be an interesting idea to consider for those who assume that there are interlevel causal relations.


Constitution Mechanisms Levels Interlevel causation Causal pluralism Existence 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gordon Leonhard
    • 1
  • Paul M. Näger
    • 1
    Email author
  • Andreas Schäfers
    • 1
  1. 1.Philosophisches SeminarWestfälische Wilhelms-Universität MünsterMünsterGermany

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