Events and their counterparts

McDonnell, N. (2016) Events and their counterparts. Philosophical Studies, 173(5), pp. 1291-1308. (doi:10.1007/s11098-015-0547-5)

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Abstract

This paper argues that a counterpart-theoretic treatment of events, combined with a counterfactual theory of causation (call this combination CCT), can help resolve three puzzles from the causation literature. First, CCT traces the apparent contextual shifts in our causal attributions to shifts in the counterpart relation which obtains in those contexts. Second, being sensitive to shifts in the counterpart relation can help diagnose what goes wrong in certain prominent examples where the transitivity of causation appears to fail. Third, CCT can help us resurrect the much-maligned fragility response to the problems of late pre-emption by understanding fragility in counterpart-theoretic terms. Some reasons to prefer this CCT approach to rivals are discussed.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:McDonnell, Dr Neil
Authors: McDonnell, N.
College/School:College of Arts > School of Humanities > Philosophy
Journal Name:Philosophical Studies
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:0031-8116
ISSN (Online):1573-0883
Published Online:28 August 2016

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
661041EmergenceFiona MacphersonJohn Templeton Foundation (TEMPLFOU)40485HU - PHILOSOPHY