The Facts of Causation

Front Cover
Psychology Press, Nov 5, 1998 - Philosophy - 251 pages
Everything we do relies on causation. We eat and drink because this causes us to stay alive. Courts tell us who causes crimes, criminology tell us what causes people to commit them. D.H. Mellor shows us that to understand the world and our lives we must understand causation.
The Facts of Causation, now available in paperback, is essential reading for students and for anyone interested in reading one of the ground-breaking theories in metaphysics. We cannot understand the world and our place in it without understanding causation. Yet a complete account of the nature and implications of causation does not exist. D.H Mellor's new book is that account.
 

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Contents

Properties
15
Probability and necessity
31
Chance
44
The limits of indeterminism
67
Causes as means 1 The meansend connotation
79
Valuations and utilities
80
Means and ends
83
Means and mean utilities
85
Transparent and factual causation
153
Causal relations 1 The case for a relation of causation
156
Properties and relations predicates and concepts
157
Causation between particulars
160
Facts and facta
161
Facta as causes and effects
162
The facta of causation
166
Causal facta 14
170

Causes as means to ends
88
The limitations of mean utility
90
Degrees of effectiveness 1 Connotations that come by degrees
93
More or less evidence
94
More or less useful means
97
Better and worse explanations 5 More or less effective causes
100
Overdetermination 7 Overdetermination and mental causation
103
Factual causes and effects
106
Iterated causation 106 1 Iterated causation 2 The initial case for facts
109
The identity of facts
110
The argument that causation links all facts or none
113
How causation can link facts 114 5 How causation can link facts 6 Facts and events
119
Events 1 Events and things
121
The temporal parts of events
122
The identity of events
125
Events and changes
126
Davidsons argument for events
127
Events for the sake of argument
128
Particular causes and effects 11
130
Negative causes and effects
131
Existential and particular causes and effects
135
Facts first?
139
Affecting particulars 1 Causing and affecting
140
Essential and inessential facts
141
Identity criteria
143
How particulars cause and affect each other
144
Opaque causation
146
Transparent causation
149
Properties and laws
172
The facta of propensity
175
Causal structures
179
The structure of causal facta
183
Universals
185
Facta and laws
186
Laws and law statements
187
Laws and properties
190
Nominalism
192
Identifying properties
193
Complex properties
196
Laws 1 Laws and particulars
200
Properties and particulars
201
Nomic relations
203
Determinable universals
208
Nomic facta and nomic facts
210
Nomic and singular facta
213
Laws and spacetime
214
Points and other particulars
217
The precedence of causes
219
Simultaneous causation
220
Causal loops
224
Contiguity
229
Causability and precedence
234
The causal form of inner sense
237
Bibliography
244
Index
249
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