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Alternative Approaches to Causation: Beyond Difference-making and Mechanism

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The aim of the conference is to explore and examine alternative approaches to causation.

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​Causality is one of the most controversial topics in philosophy. There is a wide range of standard accounts of causality, for example, the regularity account, the probabilistic account, the counterfactual account, the interventionist account, which are all classified as ‘difference-making’ accounts; and the mechanistic account. Pluralists (e.g. Cartwright, Hall, Reiss) maintain that there are multiple kinds of causality, whereas monists (e.g. Godfrey-Smith, Psillos, Williamson) argue that there is only one causal relation. Eliminativists (e.g. Russell) argue that science has no need of causation at all, while primitivists (e.g. Armstrong, Tooley, and Carroll) maintain that causation is unanalysable.

Difference-making and mechanistic approaches have dominated recent philosophical discussion of causality. The aim of the conference is to explore and examine alternative approaches to causation. The approaches to be examined include but are not limited to causal pluralism, causal contextualism, causal primitivism, causal eliminativism, the projectivist approach, the dispositional approach, the epistemic approach, and the informational approach.

Plenary Speakers

Rani Lill Anjum (Norwegian University of Life Sciences)

Simon Blackburn (University of Cambridge)

Nancy Cartwright (Durham University/University of California, San Diego)

​Ned Hall (Harvard University)

Federica Russo (University of Amsterdam)

Jon Williamson (University of Kent)

https://www.shanyafeng.com/causation-conference-kent-2021.html

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