Causation, norms, and omissions: A study of causal judgments

Philosophical Psychology 28 (2):279-293 (2015)
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Abstract

Many philosophical theories of causation are egalitarian, rejecting a distinction between causes and mere causal conditions. We sought to determine the extent to which people's causal judgments discriminate, selecting as causes counternormal events—those that violate norms of some kind—while rejecting non-violators. We found significant selectivity of this sort. Moreover, priming that encouraged more egalitarian judgments had little effect on subjects. We also found that omissions are as likely as actions to be judged as causes, and that counternormative selectivity appears to apply equally to actions and omissions.

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Author Profiles

Randolph Clarke
Florida State University
Chris Zarpentine
Florida State University
Joshua Shepherd
Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
2 more

Citations of this work

The categories of causation.John Schwenkler - 2023 - Synthese 203 (1):1-35.
Cause by Omission and Norm: Not Watering Plants.Paul Henne, Ángel Pinillos & Felipe De Brigard - 2017 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 95 (2):270-283.
Counterfactual theories of causation.Peter Menzies - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
The Metaphysics of Omissions.Sara Bernstein - 2015 - Philosophy Compass 10 (3):208-218.
Cause and burn.David Rose, Eric Sievers & Shaun Nichols - 2021 - Cognition 207 (104517):104517.

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References found in this work

Causation.David Lewis - 1973 - Journal of Philosophy 70 (17):556-567.
Causation as influence.David Lewis - 2000 - Journal of Philosophy 97 (4):182-197.
Dispositional Theories of Value.Michael Smith, David Lewis & Mark Johnston - 1989 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 63 (1):89-174.
Causation.D. Lewis - 1973 - In Philosophical Papers Ii. Oxford University Press. pp. 159-213.
Cause and Norm.Christopher Hitchcock & Joshua Knobe - 2009 - Journal of Philosophy 106 (11):587-612.

View all 19 references / Add more references