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Ned Hall
Harvard University
  1. Causation: A User’s Guide.L. A. Paul & Ned Hall - 2013 - Oxford: Oxford University Press UK. Edited by Edward J. Hall.
    Causation is at once familiar and mysterious. Neither common sense nor extensive philosophical debate has led us to anything like agreement on the correct analysis of the concept of causation, or an account of the metaphysical nature of the causal relation. Causation: A User's Guide cuts a clear path through this confusing but vital landscape. L. A. Paul and Ned Hall guide the reader through the most important philosophical treatments of causation, negotiating the terrain by taking a set of examples (...)
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  2. Two concepts of causation.Ned Hall - 2004 - In John Collins, Ned Hall & Laurie Paul (eds.), Causation and Counterfactuals. MIT Press. pp. 225-276.
  3. Causation and Counterfactuals.John Collins, Ned Hall & Laurie Paul (eds.) - 2004 - MIT Press.
    Thirty years after Lewis's paper, this book brings together some of the most important recent work connecting—or, in some cases, disputing the connection ...
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  4. Humean Reductionism About Laws of Nature.Ned Hall - 2009
  5. Correcting the guide to objective chance.Ned Hall - 1994 - Mind 103 (412):505-518.
  6. Causation and the Price of Transitivity.Ned Hall - 2000 - Journal of Philosophy 97 (4):198.
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  7. Structural equations and causation.Ned Hall - 2007 - Philosophical Studies 132 (1):109 - 136.
    Structural equations have become increasingly popular in recent years as tools for understanding causation. But standard structural equations approaches to causation face deep problems. The most philosophically interesting of these consists in their failure to incorporate a distinction between default states of an object or system, and deviations therefrom. Exploring this problem, and how to fix it, helps to illuminate the central role this distinction plays in our causal thinking.
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  8. Two mistakes about credence and chance.Ned Hall - 2004 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 82 (1):93 – 111.
    David Lewis's influential work on the epistemology and metaphysics of objective chance has convinced many philosophers of the central importance of the following two claims: First, it is a serious cost of reductionist positions about chance (such as that occupied by Lewis) that they are, apparently, forced to modify the Principal Principle--the central principle relating objective chance to rational subjective probability--in order to avoid contradiction. Second, it is a perhaps more serious cost of the rival non-reductionist position that, unlike reductionism, (...)
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  9. Counterfactuals and causation: history, problems, and prospects.John Collins, Ned Hall & L. A. Paul - 2004 - In John Collins, Ned Hall & Laurie Paul (eds.), Causation and Counterfactuals. MIT Press. pp. 1--57.
    Among the many philosophers who hold that causal facts1 are to be explained in terms of—or more ambitiously, shown to reduce to—facts about what happens, together with facts about the fundamental laws that govern what happens, the clear favorite is an approach that sees counterfactual dependence as the key to such explanation or reduction. The paradigm examples of causation, so advocates of this approach tell us, are examples in which events c and e— the cause and its effect— both occur, (...)
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  10.  21
    Humean Reductionism about Laws of Nature.Ned Hall - 2015 - In Barry Loewer & Jonathan Schaffer (eds.), A Companion to David Lewis. Oxford, UK: Wiley. pp. 262–277.
    This chapter investigates the prospects for an important position that falls under the "mere patterns" approach: what, for reasons that will emerge, the author calls"Humean reductionism" about laws of nature, a view championed perhaps most prominently by David Lewis. He reviews some of the most interesting arguments against this position from the literature, and adds some of his own that, he thinks, are more effective. The chapter considers how the best system account (BSA) would apply to the Newtonian particle world. (...)
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  11. On what we know about chance.Frank Arntzenius & Ned Hall - 2003 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 54 (2):171-179.
    The ‘Principal Principle’ states, roughly, that one's subjective probability for a proposition should conform to one's beliefs about that proposition's objective chance of coming true. David Lewis has argued (i) that this principle provides the defining role for chance; (ii) that it conflicts with his reductionist thesis of Humean supervenience, and so must be replaced by an amended version that avoids the conflict; hence (iii) that nothing perfectly deserves the name ‘chance’, although something can come close enough by playing the (...)
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  12. The Intrinsic Character of Causation.Ned Hall - 2004 - Oxford Studies in Metaphysics 1:255-300.
  13. Causation and preemption.Ned Hall & Laurie Ann Paul - 2003 - In Peter Clark & Katherine Hawley (eds.), Philosophy of Science Today. Oxford University Press UK.
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  14. David Lewis's metaphysics.Ned Hall - 2010 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  15. Philosophy of causation: Blind alleys exposed; promising directions highlighted.Ned Hall - 2006 - Philosophy Compass 1 (1):86–94.
    Contemporary philosophical work on causation is a tangled mess of disparate aims, approaches, and accounts. Best to cut through it by means of ruthless but, hopefully, sensible judgments. The ones that follow are designed to sketch the most fruitful avenues for future work.
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  16.  9
    Causation and Preemption.Ned Hall & L. A. Paul - 2003 - In Peter Clark & Katherine Hawley (eds.), Philosophy of Science Today. Oxford University Press UK. pp. 100-130.
    Causation is a deeply intuitive and familiar relation, gripped powerfully by common sense. Or so it seems. As is typical in philosophy, however, that deep intuitive familiarity has not led to any philosophical account of causation that is at once clean, precise, and widely agreed upon. Not for lack of trying: the last thirty years or so have seen dozens of attempts to provide such an account, and the pace of development is, if anything, accelerating. (See Collins et al. [2003a] (...)
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  17. How to set a surprise exam.Ned Hall - 1999 - Mind 108 (432):647-703.
    The professor announces a surprise exam for the upcoming week; her clever student purports to demonstrate by reductio that she cannot possibly give such an exam. Diagnosing his puzzling argument reveals a deeper puzzle: Is the student justified in believing the announcement? It would seem so, particularly if the upcoming 'week' is long enough. On the other hand, a plausible principle states that if, at the outset, the student is justified in believing some proposition, then he is also justified in (...)
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  18. Probability.Branden Fitelson, Alan Hajek & Ned Hall - 2006 - In Jessica Pfeifer & Sahotra Sarkar (eds.), The Philosophy of Science: An Encyclopedia. Routledge.
    There are two central questions concerning probability. First, what are its formal features? That is a mathematical question, to which there is a standard, widely (though not universally) agreed upon answer. This answer is reviewed in the next section. Second, what sorts of things are probabilities---what, that is, is the subject matter of probability theory? This is a philosophical question, and while the mathematical theory of probability certainly bears on it, the answer must come from elsewhere. To see why, observe (...)
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  19. Non‐locality on the Cheap? A New Problem for Counterfactual Analyses of Causation.Ned Hall - 2002 - Noûs 36 (2):276–294.
  20. Causation.Ned Hall - 2003 - In Frank Jackson & Michael Smith (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Contemporary Philosophy. Oxford University Press.
     
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  21. The Intrinsic Character of Causation.Ned Hall - 2004 - In Dean Zimmerman (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaphysics: Volume 1. Oxford University Press UK.
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  22. Part V. Is chance ontologically fundamental?: Chance and the great divide.Ned Hall - 2020 - In Shamik Dasgupta, Brad Weslake & Ravit Dotan (eds.), Current Controversies in Philosophy of Science. London: Routledge.
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  23. Rescued from the rubbish Bin: Lewis on causation.Ned Hall - 2004 - Philosophy of Science 71 (5):1107-1114.
    Lewis's work on causation was governed by a familiar methodological approach: the aim was to come up with an account of causation that would recover, in as elegant a fashion as possible, all of our firm “pre‐theoretic” intuitions about hypothetical cases. That methodology faces an obvious challenge, in that it is not clear why anyone not interested in the semantics of the English word “cause” should care about its results. Better to take a different approach, one which treats our intuitions (...)
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  24. David Lewis.Ned Hall - 2002 - The Harvard Review of Philosophy 10 (1):81-84.
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  25. Induction and Probability.Ned Hall & Alan Hájek - 2002 - In Peter Machamer & Michael Silberstein (eds.), The Blackwell Guide to the Philosophy of Science. Oxford, UK: Blackwell. pp. 149-172.
    Arguably, Hume's greatest single contribution to contemporary philosophy of science has been the problem of induction (1739). Before attempting its statement, we need to spend a few words identifying the subject matter of this corner of epistemology. At a first pass, induction concerns ampliative inferences drawn on the basis of evidence (presumably, evidence acquired more or less directly from experience)—that is, inferences whose conclusions are not (validly) entailed by the premises. Philosophers have historically drawn further distinctions, often appropriating the term (...)
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  26. An Epistemic Approach to Ground.Ned Hall - 2023 - The Monist 106 (3):239-254.
    Recent enthusiasm for grounding often begins by observing that inquiry in metaphysics (and other areas) features a distinctive species of noncausal explanation. Having labeled this species “grounding explanation,” it’s a short step to the conclusion that we need a philosophical theory of grounding itself: an allegedly fundamental relation of metaphysical dependency between facts, such that a “grounding explanation” of some fact succeeds by providing information about what “grounds” that fact. This short step is hasty. For another live option is to (...)
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  27.  73
    Causation and the sciences.Ned Hall - 2011 - In Steven French & Juha Saatsi (eds.), Continuum Companion to the Philosophy of Science. Continuum. pp. 96--119.
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  28. Metaphysically Reductive Causation.Ned Hall & L. A. Paul - 2013 - Erkenntnis 78 (1):9-41.
    There are, by now, many rival, sophisticated philosophical accounts of causation that qualify as ‘metaphysically reductive’. This is a good thing: these collective efforts have vastly improved our understanding of causation over the last 30 years or so. They also put us in an excellent position to reflect on some central methodological questions: What exactly is the point of offering a metaphysical reduction of causation? What philosophical scruples ought to guide the pursuit of such a reduction? Finally, how should answers (...)
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  29. Causation and Ceteris Paribus Laws.Ned Hall - 2005 - The Harvard Review of Philosophy 13 (1):80-99.
    But of all this more later. To help fix ideas, let’s start with a concrete example.
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  30. Chalmers on consciousness and quantum mechanics.Alex Byrne & Ned Hall - 1999 - Philosophy of Science 66 (3):370-90.
    The textbook presentation of quantum mechanics, in a nutshell, is this. The physical state of any isolated system evolves deterministically in accordance with Schrödinger's equation until a "measurement" of some physical magnitude M (e.g. position, energy, spin) is made. Restricting attention to the case where the values of M are discrete, the system's pre-measurement state-vector f is a linear combination, or "superposition", of vectors f1, f2,... that individually represent states that..
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  31. Writing the Book of the World by Theodore Sider.Ned Hall - 2014 - Journal of Philosophy 111 (4):219-224.
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  32.  66
    The Large-Scale Joints of the World.Ned Hall - 2011 - Humana Mente 4 (19).
    What is the compositional structure of reality? That question divides naturally into these two: What is the compositional structure of the particulars that populate reality? And what is the structure of the properties and relations that fix what these entities are like? David Lewis‘s work in ontology and mereology provides the materials for an extraordinarily clean answer to the first question. First, among the particulars1 that populate reality are mereological simples: entities that have no proper parts. Second, every collection of (...)
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  33. Humean Reductionism about Essence.Ned Hall - 2023 - In Christian Loew, Siegfried Jaag & Michael Townsen Hicks (eds.), Humean Laws for Human Agents. Oxford: Oxford UP. pp. 258-286.
    In the metaphysics of laws of nature, one fundamental philosophical question is whether we should give a metaphysical or rather an epistemic account of what they are; that is the core issue that divides ‘Humeans’ from ‘anti-Humeans’. In much the same way, a key question we face with essences is whether to give a metaphysical or rather an epistemic account of what they are. (So note well: in choosing to deploy the term ‘essence’ this chapter is not taking sides on (...)
     
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  34. Ontology of mind. Helen Steward.Ned Hall - 2001 - Mind 110 (440):1123-1127.
  35. Physical and metaphysical modality.Ned Hall - 2018 - In Otávio Bueno & Scott A. Shalkowski (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Modality. New York: Routledge.
     
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  36. Review. The quantum challenge. G Greenstein, AG Zajonc.Ned Hall - 1999 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 50 (2):313-315.
  37. Comments on Michael Strevens’s Depth. [REVIEW]Ned Hall - 2012 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 84 (2):474-482.
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  38. Comments on Woodward, "Making Things Happen". [REVIEW]Ned Hall - 2006 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 28 (4):611 - 624.
  39.  31
    Review of Causality and Explanation by Wesley C. Salmon. [REVIEW]Ned Hall - 1999 - Philosophy of Science 66 (3):497-498.
  40.  52
    Review of Wesley C. salmon, Phil Dowe (ed.), Merrilee H. salmon (ed.), Reality and Rationality[REVIEW]Ned Hall - 2007 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2007 (1).