PSA2016: The 25th Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association

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A Deliberative Account of Causation

Fundamental physics makes no reference to causes, and seems radically at odds with causation. Its laws don’t reflect causation’s temporal asymmetry, and don’t relate individual states (as causal relations do) but only states of the universe as a whole. I argue we can fit causation into a scientific picture of the world by relating it to deliberation. According to the deliberative account, causal relations correspond to the evidential relations we use when we decide on one thing in order to achieve another. I’ll use this account to relate causation to fundamental laws, and explain why causes come before their effects.

Author Information:

Alison Fernandes    
University of Pittsburgh


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