Causes and Coincidences

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Cambridge University Press, Aug 28, 1992 - Philosophy - 188 pages
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In an important departure from current theories of causation, David Owens proposes that coincidences have no causes, and that a cause is something that ensures that its effects are no coincidence. He elucidates the idea of a coincidence as an event that can be divided into constituent events, the nomological antecedents of which are independent of each other. He also suggests that causal facts can be analyzed in terms of non-causal facts, including relations of necessity. Thus, causation is defined in terms of coincidence, and coincidence without reference to causation. In a book that will be of particular interest to those concerned with the role of causation in the philosophy of mind, David Owens challenges ideas of Hume, Davidson and Lewis, and offers novel solutions to the problems still confronting theorists of causation.
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
1 THE INEXPLICABILITY OF A COINCIDENCE
6
2 CAUSES AND LAWS
23
3 EVENTS AND NONCAUSAL EXPLANATIONS
41
4 CAUSAL EXPLANATION
63
5 THE DIRECTION OF CAUSAL EXPLANATION
82
6 LEVELS OF CAUSATION
114
7 DEVIANT CAUSAL CHAINS
143
8 CAUSATION IN ACTION
163
WHITHER CAUSAL REALISM?
178
Bibliography
182
Index
186
Cover
188
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