The Logical Form of Interventionism

Philosophia 40 (4):751-761 (2012)
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This paper argues that, notwithstanding the remarkable popularity of Woodward's (2003) interventionist analysis of causation, the exact definitional details of that theory are surprisingly little understood. There exists a discrepancy in the literature between the clarity about the logical details of interventionism, on the one hand, and the enormous work interventionism is expected to do, on the other. The first part of the paper distinguishes three significantly different readings of the logical form of Woodward's (2003) interventionist theory and identifies the reading that best captures the basic intuitions behind interventionism. In the second part, I show that this preferable reading is far from doing all the work that friends of interventionism would like it to do.



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Michael Baumgartner
Bergen University

Citations of this work

Constitutive Relevance, Mutual Manipulability, and Fat-Handedness.Michael Baumgartner & Alexander Gebharter - 2016 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 67 (3):731-756.
High-Level Explanation and the Interventionist’s ‘Variables Problem’.L. R. Franklin-Hall - 2016 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 67 (2):553-577.
What Invariance Is and How to Test for It.Federica Russo - 2014 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 28 (2):157-183.

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References found in this work

A New Introduction to Modal Logic.M. J. Cresswell & G. E. Hughes - 1996 - New York: Routledge. Edited by M. J. Cresswell.
Epiphenomenalism - the do's and the don 'ts'.Lawrence A. Shapiro & Elliott Sober - 2007 - In G. Wolters & Peter K. Machamer (eds.), Thinking About Causes: From Greek Philosophy to Modern physics. University of Pittsburgh Press. pp. 235-264.
Mental causation and neural mechanisms.James Woodward - 2008 - In Jakob Hohwy & Jesper Kallestrup (eds.), Being Reduced: New Essays on Reduction, Explanation, and Causation. Oxford University Press. pp. 218-262.

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