Varieties of Multiple Antecedent Cause

Acta Analytica 27 (3):231-246 (2012)
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Abstract

A great deal has been written over the past decade defending ‘higher-level’ causes by arguing that overdetermination is more complex than many philosophers initially thought. Although two shooters overdetermine the death of a firing squad victim, a baseball and its parts do not overdetermine the breaking of a window. But while these analyses of overdetermination have no doubt been fruitful, the focus on overdetermination—while ignoring other varieties of causal relation—has limited the discussion. Many of the cases of interest resemble joint causes or a cause necessitating a simultaneous epiphenomenon as much as they resemble overdeterminers. If we are to fully understand higher-level causation, we need to distinguish it from these causal relations as well. This paper is dedicated to the task, focusing especially on the ‘threat’ that higher-level causes are epiphenomena necessitated by lower-level causes

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Jeff Engelhardt
Dickinson College

Citations of this work

What is the Exclusion Problem?Jeff Engelhardt - 2015 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 96 (2):205-232.
Mental causation, compatibilism and counterfactuals.Dwayne Moore - 2017 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 47 (1):20-42.
Property Reductive Emergent Dualism.Jeff Engelhardt - 2015 - Philosophia 43 (1):63-75.
Married Causes.Jeff Engelhardt - 2014 - Acta Analytica 29 (2):161-180.

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References found in this work

The scientific image.C. Van Fraassen Bas - 1980 - New York: Oxford University Press.
The Scientific Image.William Demopoulos & Bas C. van Fraassen - 1982 - Philosophical Review 91 (4):603.
Objects and Persons.Trenton Merricks - 2001 - New York: Oxford University Press.

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