Causation and Persistence

Causation and Persistence : A Theory of Causation

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Ehring shows the inadequacy of received theories of causation, and, introducing conceptual devices of his own, provides a wholly new account of causation as the persistence over time of individual properties, or "tropes."
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Product details

  • Hardback | 240 pages
  • 154.4 x 228.6 x 13.7mm | 335.66g
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • New
  • line figures
  • 0195107942
  • 9780195107944

Back cover copy

Philosophical tradition dictates that an account of causation should include both a "generalist" component (typically, the instantiation of a law) and a "singularist" component, in the form of certain unremarkable spatial-temporal relations. This pathbreaking book, while assuming some generalist component, focuses on the singularist aspect, asserting that causes and effects are tied together by more than spatial-temporal relations. Providing an account of causal influence that stresses the persistence of individual properties or "tropes", Douglas Ehring develops a powerfully original theory of causation, one that outperforms leading theories in explaining preemptive causation and contributes the most sophisticated view yet of causation's singularist component.
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Review quote

A high-quality philosophical work on a topic of central importance. * David Papineau, Kings College, London * Ehring's new book is the single most significant advance in the philosophical debate about the nature of causality in the last decade or more. It not only faces the most serious problems-like causal preemption and the direction of causation-it moves towards creative and persuasive solutions to them. It will have an appeal well beyond the narrow specialist, to graduate students and advanced undergraduates in metaphysics, philosophy of psychology, philosophy of
natural and social science and in the social sciences themselves. * Alexander Rosenberg, University of Georgia * Douglas Ehring's intelligent and provocative account of causation connects cause and effect in the strongest way ... Ehring does an impressive job of articulating and defending his version of the identity theory, good enough to resuscitate it as a live philosophical option. * Peter Lipton, Times Literary Supplement * Ehring's account of virtually everything that he discusses is lucid and penetration. He writes very clearly, so that one is seldom in doubt about exactly what he is claiming, or why, or where his more local claims and arguments fit into his larger argument scheme. This is a great blessing since his overall argument is extremely complicated. Because Ehring is so clear and considers the views of other major theorists as well as presenting his own views, his book
would make an excellent text for an advanced undergraduate or graduate course in metaphysics. * ?, International Philosophical Quarterly * Douglas Ehring has discovered a new box in the matrix of possible positions about causation and argued for it with admirable clarity and precision ... it's a stringent, honest, and valuable contribution. * David Braddon-Mitchell, Mind, Vol. 109, No.435, July 2000. *
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