A dynamical systems approach to causation

Synthese 198 (7):6065-6087 (2019)
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Abstract

Our approach aims at accounting for causal claims in terms of how the physical states of the underlying dynamical system evolve with time. Causal claims assert connections between two sets of physicals states—their truth depends on whether the two sets in question are genuinely connected by time evolution such that physical states from one set evolve with time into the states of the other set. We demonstrate the virtues of our approach by showing how it is able to account for typical causes, causally relevant factors, being ‘the’ cause, and cases of overdetermination and causation by absences.

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