Erkenntnis 78 (1):1-8 (2013)

Michael Baumgartner
Bergen University
Luke Fenton-Glynn
University College London
An actual cause of some token effect is itself a token event that helped to bring about that effect. The notion of an actual cause is different from that of a potential cause – for example a pre-empted backup – which had the capacity to bring about the effect, but which wasn't in fact operative on the occasion in question. Sometimes actual causes are also distinguished from mere background conditions: as when we judge that the struck match was a cause of the fire, while the presence of oxygen was merely part of the relevant background against which the struck match operated. Actual causation is also to be distinguished from type causation: actual causation holds between token events in a particular, concrete scenario; type causation, by contrast, holds between event kinds in scenario kinds
Keywords Causation  Actual Causation  Structural Equations  Causal Graphs  Counterfactual Theories of Causation  Regularity Theories of Causation  Causal Decision Theory  Interventionist Theories of Causation  Functional Theories of Causation  Psychology of Causation
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DOI 10.1007/s10670-013-9441-8
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References found in this work BETA

Causality: Models, Reasoning and Inference.Judea Pearl - 2000 - Cambridge University Press.
Philosophical Papers.David Kellogg Lewis - 1983 - Oxford University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

What Should I Believe About What Would Have Been the Case?Franz Huber - 2015 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 44 (1):81-110.
Actual Causation.Enno Fischer - 2021 - Dissertation, Leibniz Universität Hannover

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