Of Miracles and Interventions

Erkenntnis 78 (1):43-64 (2013)
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Abstract

In Making Things Happen, James Woodward influentially combines a causal modeling analysis of actual causation with an interventionist semantics for the counterfactuals encoded in causal models. This leads to circularities, since interventions are defined in terms of both actual causation and interventionist counterfactuals. Circularity can be avoided by instead combining a causal modeling analysis with a semantics along the lines of that given by David Lewis, on which counterfactuals are to be evaluated with respect to worlds in which their antecedents are realized by miracles. I argue, pace Woodward, that causal modeling analyses perform just as well when combined with the Lewisian semantics as when combined with the interventionist semantics. Reductivity therefore remains a reasonable hope

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Luke Fenton-Glynn
University College London

Citations of this work

Against Counterfactual Miracles.Cian Dorr - 2016 - Philosophical Review 125 (2):241-286.
Causation and manipulability.James Woodward - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
The Agency Theory of Causality, Anthropomorphism, and Simultaneity.Marco Buzzoni - 2014 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 28 (4):375-395.

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References found in this work

Causality: Models, Reasoning and Inference.Judea Pearl - 2000 - New York: Cambridge University Press.
Causality.Judea Pearl - 2000 - New York: Cambridge University Press.
Making Things Happen. A Theory of Causal Explanation by James Woodward. [REVIEW]Michael Strevens - 2007 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 74 (1):233-249.

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