Hitchcock (Synthese 97:335–364, 1993) argues that the ternary probabilistic theory of causality meets two problems due to the problem of disjunctive factors, while arguing that the unanimity probabilistic theory of causality, which is founded on the binary contrast, does not meet them. Hitchcock also argues that only the ternary theory conveys the information about complex relations of causal relevance. In this paper, I show that Eells’ solution (Probabilistic causality, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1991), which is founded on the unanimity theory, meet the two problems. I also show that the unanimity theory too reveals complex relations of causal relevance. I conclude that the two probabilistic theories of causality carve up the same causal structure in two formally different and conceptually consistent ways. Hitchcock’s ternary theory inspires several major philosophers (Maslen, Causation and counterfactuals, pp. 341–357. MIT Press, Cambridge, 2004; Schaffer, Philos Rev 114, 297–328, 2005; Northcott, Phil Stud 139, 111–123, 2007; Hausman, The place of probability in science: In honor of Eelleys Eells (1953–2006), pp. 47–64, Springer, Dordrecht, 2010) who have recently developed the ternary theory or the quaternary theory. This paper leads them to reconsider the relation between the ternary theory and the binary theory.
Quality & Quantity – Springer Journals
Published: Aug 18, 2012
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