New PDF release: Causality and Explanation

By Wesley C. Salmon

ISBN-10: 0195108647

ISBN-13: 9780195108644

Wesley Salmon is well known for his seminal contributions to the philosophy of technology. He has powerfully and completely formed dialogue of such concerns as lawlike and probabilistic clarification and the interrelation of explanatory notions to causal notions. This targeted quantity brings jointly twenty-six of his essays on matters relating to causality and clarification, written over the interval 1971-1995. Six of the essays have by no means been released earlier than and so on have in basic terms seemed in vague venues. the amount contains a part of available introductory items, in addition to extra complex and technical items, and may make crucial paintings within the philosophy of technology available to either students and scholars.

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22 igniting other parts of the barn, until the entire building is burning. Similar closer analyses of the other three sufficient conditions would reveal complex patterns of causal processes and interactions in those cases as well. Hume offered a regularity view of the nature of causation; its fundamental characteristic is constant conjunction. Of course, as I have already mentioned, conditions of temporal priority and spatiotemporal contiguity are also required. However, it has long been recognized that night follows day and day follows night in just such a regular fashion, yet we do not want to say that day causes night or night causes day.

But this response is not adequate. To define the derivative it is necessary to consider the limit of the average velocities in periods of time greater than zero—precisely those movements that Zeno held to be impossible (see fig. 3). If we consider the position of the arrow at only one instant, without considering its positions at other instants, we cannot determine the instantaneous velocity; in fact, in these circumstances the concept of instantaneous velocity has no meaning. (See Salmon, 1975b, chap.

To cite an example that has been widely discussed, if someone contracts syphilis, and it goes through the primary, secondary, and latent stages without treatment with penicillin, that person may develop paresis. This is one form of tertiary syphilis, but only a small percentage of those who have untreated latent syphilis become paretic. At the same time, the only people who develop paresis are victims of syphilis. If someone develops paresis, we offer as an explanation the fact that they had untreated latent syphilis, even though the probability of a latent untreated syphilitic becoming paretic is considerably less than one half.

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Causality and Explanation by Wesley C. Salmon


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