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Causal powers: what are they? why do we need them? what can be done with them and what cannot?

Cartwright, Nancy (2007) Causal powers: what are they? why do we need them? what can be done with them and what cannot? Contingency and Dissent in Science, Centre for Philosophy of Natural and Social Science, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK.

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Abstract

What are causal powers and why should we believe in them? Causal powers are now a central topic in metaphysics but my defence of them does not begin there, but rather in studies of the practices of the sciences, especially in my case, of physics and economics. Both of these use the analytic method: they ascertain the behaviour that would result from the operation of a cause ‘in isolation’; then take this behaviour to provide the ‘contribution’ that that cause makes to the behaviour that occurs even when the cause is not in isolation. What counts as ‘isolation’? And how is the notion of ‘contribution’ to be understood?

Item Type: Monograph (Technical Report)
Official URL: http://www2.lse.ac.uk/CPNSS/Home.aspx
Additional Information: © 2007 The Author
Library of Congress subject classification: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
Sets: Departments > Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method
Research centres and groups > Centre for Philosophy of Natural and Social Science (CPNSS)
Rights: http://www.lse.ac.uk/library/usingTheLibrary/academicSupport/OA/depositYourResearch.aspx
Date Deposited: 26 Jan 2011 11:40
URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/31713/

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