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Causation by Douglas Kutach


Causation by Douglas Kutach

In most academic and non-academic circles throughout history, the world and its operation have been viewed in terms of cause and effect. The principles of causation have been applied, fruitfully, across the sciences, law, medicine, and in everyday life, despite the lack of any agreed-upon framework for understanding what causation ultimately amounts to. In this engaging and accessible introduction to the topic, Douglas Kutach explains and analyses the most prominent theories and examples in the philosophy of causation. The book is organized so as to respect the various cross-cutting and interdisciplinary concerns about causation, such as the reducibility of causation, its application to scientific modeling, its connection to influence and laws of nature, and its role in causal explanation. Kutach begins by presenting the four recurring distinctions in the literature on causation, proceeding through an exploration of various accounts of causation including determination, difference making and probability-raising. He concludes by carefully considering their application to the mind-body problem. Causation provides a straightforward and compact survey of contemporary approaches to causation and serves as a friendly and clear guide for anyone interested in exploring the complex jungle of ideas that surround this fundamental philosophical topic.


A terrific introduction to the topic of causation in philosophy and cognate fields. His writing is clear and engaging without sacrificing rigor or conceptual sophistication. In this short book he surveys all of the major approaches to the topic. But more importantly, he shows the reader what it is like to explore the nuances of a complex subject with the benefit of a keen philosophical mind. Chris Hitchcock, California Institute of Technology An engaging and long-overdue introduction to causation: what philosophers have said about it, why they've had trouble agreeing with each other, and why it matters, for all of us. Carolina Sartorio, University of Arizona

About the Author

Douglas Kutach is visiting fellow at the Rotman Institute of Philosophy. the Rotman Institute of Philosophy

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Book Info

Publication date

18th July 2014


Douglas Kutach

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Polity Press


200 pages


Philosophy: epistemology & theory of knowledge



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