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Faculty of Philosophy


D H Mellor Facts of Causation

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D. H. Mellor

Cover of The Facts of Causation

The Facts of Causation

D. H. Mellor

Routledge, 1995, pp. xii+251

This book presents a complete theory of causation. It covers all kinds of causing and affecting, of both events and facts: deterministic and indeterministic, mental and physical, transparent and opaque. It shows what makes a cause explain, be evidence for, and be a means of bringing about, its effects, and why causation entails the laws of nature that determine the kinds of facts our world contains. It also shows how causation distinguishes time from space, makes time linear, gives it its direction and enables us to perceive it.

1 Deterministic causation
1 Singular and general causation
2 Two sorts of cause
3 Causation's incomplete truth table
4 Deterministic causation
5 Causal conditionals
6 Strict conditionals
7 Closest-world conditionals
2 The chances of effects
1 Chances
2 The chances of an effect
3 Closest-world chances
4 Chance, sufficiency and necessity
3 Interpretations of probability
1 Probability and necessity
2 Credence
3 Evidential probability
4 Frequency
4 Chance
1 The conditions on chance
2 Frequencies and credences
3 What chance is
4 Chances and propensities
5 Indeterministic causation
1 Radioactivity
2 Hidden variables
3 The irrelevance of hidden variables
4 The connotations of causation
5 Evidence
6 Explanation
7 Conclusion
6 Raising the chances of effects
1 The limits of indeterminism
2 Causes as evidence
3 The evidence of our senses
4 Explanation and inference
5 Explanation and necessity
7 Causes as means
1 The means-end connotation
2 Valuations and utilities
3 Means and ends
4 Means and mean utilities
5 Causes as means to ends
6 The limitations of mean utility
8 Degrees of effectiveness
1 Connotations that come by degrees
2 More or less evidence
3 Better and worse explanations
4 More or less useful means
5 More or less effective causes
6 Overdetermination
7 Overdetermination and mental causation
9 Factual causes and effects
1 Iterated causation
2 The initial case for facts
3 The identity of facts
4 The argument that causation links all facts or none
5 How causation can link facts
6 Facts and events
10 Events
1 Events and things
2 The temporal parts of events
3 The identity of events
4 Events and changes
5 Davidson's argument for events
6 Events for the sake of argument
11 Particular causes and effects
1 Causation and causal explanation
2 Negative causes and effects
3 Existential and particular causes and effects
4 Facts first?
12 Affecting particulars
1 Causing and affecting
2 Essential and inessential facts
3 Identity criteria
4 How particulars cause and affect each other
5 Opaque causation
6 Transparent causation
7 Transparent and factual causation
13 Causal relations
1 The case for a relation of causation
2 Properties and relations, predicates and concepts
3 Causation between particulars
4 Facts and facta
5 Facta as causes and effects
6 The facta of causation
14 Causal facta
1 Propensities and properties
2 Properties and laws
3 The facta of propensity
4 Causal structures
5 The structure of causal facta
15 Properties
1 Universals
2 Facta and laws
3 Laws and law statements
4 Laws and properties
5 Nominalism
6 Identifying properties
7 Complex properties
16 Laws
1 Laws and particulars
2 Properties and particulars
3 Nomic relations
4 Laws and properties
5 Nominalism
6 Identifying properties
7 Complex properties
17 Time
1 The precedence of causes
2 Simultaneous causation
3 Causal loops
4 Contiguity
5 Causability and precedence
6 The causal form of inner sense


Updated 10 September 2019