Advanced

The determinables of explanatory mechanisms

Persson, Johannes LU (1999) In Synthese 120(1). p.77-87
Abstract
Sometimes instances of perceived causation turn out to lack causal relata. The reasons may vary. Causation may display itself as prevention, or as omission, and in some cases causation occurs within such complex environments that few of the things we associate with causes and effects are true of them, etc. But even then, there may be causal explanations to be had. This suggests that the explanatory power of causal reports have other sources than the relation between cause and effect. In this paper it is argued that the causal mechanisms we allude to in explanations have relevant determinables other than the traditionally acknowledged ones. The traditional but in this aspect mistaken view of causation is to be blamed. Discernability,... (More)
Sometimes instances of perceived causation turn out to lack causal relata. The reasons may vary. Causation may display itself as prevention, or as omission, and in some cases causation occurs within such complex environments that few of the things we associate with causes and effects are true of them, etc. But even then, there may be causal explanations to be had. This suggests that the explanatory power of causal reports have other sources than the relation between cause and effect. In this paper it is argued that the causal mechanisms we allude to in explanations have relevant determinables other than the traditionally acknowledged ones. The traditional but in this aspect mistaken view of causation is to be blamed. Discernability, complexity of manifestation, originality, and even stability have often been overlooked.

We know, that, in fact, heat is a constant attendant of flame; but what is the connexion between them, we have no room so much as to conjecture or imagine. (Hume 1777, VII. 2, 64) (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
causation, explanation, mechanism
in
Synthese
volume
120
issue
1
pages
77 - 87
publisher
Springer
external identifiers
  • scopus:31044432448
ISSN
0039-7857
DOI
10.1023/A:1005210621021
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
1c596424-7d5e-46e4-9909-5512411df648 (old id 1446297)
date added to LUP
2009-09-18 11:46:46
date last changed
2017-01-01 04:29:39
@article{1c596424-7d5e-46e4-9909-5512411df648,
  abstract     = {Sometimes instances of perceived causation turn out to lack causal relata. The reasons may vary. Causation may display itself as prevention, or as omission, and in some cases causation occurs within such complex environments that few of the things we associate with causes and effects are true of them, etc. But even then, there may be causal explanations to be had. This suggests that the explanatory power of causal reports have other sources than the relation between cause and effect. In this paper it is argued that the causal mechanisms we allude to in explanations have relevant determinables other than the traditionally acknowledged ones. The traditional but in this aspect mistaken view of causation is to be blamed. Discernability, complexity of manifestation, originality, and even stability have often been overlooked. <br/><br>
We know, that, in fact, heat is a constant attendant of flame; but what is the connexion between them, we have no room so much as to conjecture or imagine. (Hume 1777, VII. 2, 64)},
  author       = {Persson, Johannes},
  issn         = {0039-7857},
  keyword      = {causation,explanation,mechanism},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {77--87},
  publisher    = {Springer},
  series       = {Synthese},
  title        = {The determinables of explanatory mechanisms},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1023/A:1005210621021},
  volume       = {120},
  year         = {1999},
}