Causal Necessitation and Dispositional Modality

Philosophia 49 (1):289-298 (2020)
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Rani Lill Anjum and Stephen Mumford have recently defended a new kind of modality, which they call ‘dispositional modality’. The key reason to adopt dispositional modality, according to them, is that causes never necessitate their effects. Anjum and Mumford’s chief argument against causal necessitation makes use of what they call the ‘antecedent-strengthening test’ : C causally necessitates E iff C & φ causes E, for any possible φ. This test, they claim, fails in all cases of alleged causal necessitation. In this paper we argue that the AS-test is not the mark of causal necessitation. First, we show that if the AS-test is taken as the mark of causal necessitation it leads to either an absurdity or to circularity. Second, we argue that, given the Mill/Mackie framework of causes as INUS conditions, apparent counterexamples to causal necessitation fail.



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Author Profiles

Stavros Ioannidis
University of Athens
Vassilis Livanios
University of Cyprus
Stathis Psillos
University of Athens

Citations of this work

Em Defesa do Necessitarismo Causal.Caio Cézar Silva dos Santos - 2023 - Dissertation, Universidade Federal Do Rio de Janeiro

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References found in this work

Getting Causes From Powers.Stephen Mumford & Rani Lill Anjum - 2011 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press. Edited by Rani Lill Anjum.
A System of Logic, Ratiocinative and Inductive.John Stuart Mill - 1843 - New York and London,: University of Toronto Press. Edited by J. Robson.
The cement of the universe.John Leslie Mackie - 1974 - Oxford,: Clarendon Press.
The Powers Metaphysic.Neil E. Williams - 2019 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
The Cement of the Universe.John Earman & J. L. Mackie - 1976 - Philosophical Review 85 (3):390.

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