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In Defence of Influence

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JournalAnalysis
DatePublished - Oct 2001
Issue number4
Volume61
Number of pages5
Pages (from-to)323-327
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Jonathan Schaffer provided two alleged counterexamples to Lewis's new theory of causation: causation as influence. They purport to show that he identifies neither a necessary nor a sufficient condition. I argue that the counterexamples don't work. However, a revised version of one of them establishes that Lewis has failed to identify a sufficient condition for causation. Indeed, the very thing that enabled him to deal with some cases of trumping is the basis of the problem. In order to avoid this upshot, Lewis has to provide a principled account of the kind of alterations that are appropriate to consider. It is unlikely that such an account is available.

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