Difference-Making and Explanatory Relevance

In a variety of recent debates, philosophers have found it useful to appeal to a notion of difference-making. Metaphysicians have appealed to difference-making in analysing aspects of relations such as causation and grounding. Following influential work by Michael Strevens, philosophers of science have argued that causal factors are explanatorily relevant only if they make a difference to a given event. Finally, the notion of difference-making has been prominent in debates about free will and responsibility. In the course of these debates, several competing analyses of difference-making have been proposed. Thus far, however, there has been little interaction between these different debates. This special issue aims to bring together recent approaches to difference-making from several different angles in relation to a variety of hotly debated topics.


  • Stephan Krämer

    University of Hamburg,Germany Stephan Krämer is a lecturer in philosophy at the University of Hamburg and specializes in philosophical logic, metaphysics, and formal epistemology. He is currently the PI of an Emmy Noether research project on logical, explanatory, and epistemic forms of relevance. He obtained his PhD in 2011 at the University of Leeds and has since held postdoctoral positions at the University of Hamburg and a lectureship at the University of Glasgow. Email:

  • Stefan Roski

    University of Münster,Germany Stefan Roski specializes in metaphysics, the philosophy of science, and the works of Bernard Bolzano. He obtained a PhD in philosophy at the VU University Amsterdam in 2014. Since then, he has worked at University of Duisburg-Essen, Hamburg University, and Saarland University. Since 2022, he is executive director of the Centre for Philosophy of Science at the University of Münster. Email:

  • Singa Behrens

    University of Bielefeld,Germany Singa Behrens is a post-doctoral research assistant at the University of Bielefeld. Her current research focuses on metaethics, metaphysics, and normativity. She obtained her PhD from the University of Hamburg in 2023 where she has worked as a doctoral researcher in the Emmy Noether project on relevance. Email:

Articles (7 in this collection)

  1. A good cause


    • Carolina Sartorio
    • Content type: OriginalPaper
    • Published: 31 July 2023