Single Idea 15552

[catalogued under 26. Natural Theory / C. Causation / 8. Particular Causation / d. Selecting the cause]

Full Idea

Disagreement about 'the' cause is only disagreement about which part of the causal history is most salient for the purposes of some particular inquiry.

Gist of Idea

We only pick 'the' cause for the purposes of some particular enquiry.


David Lewis (Causal Explanation [1986], I)

Book Reference

Lewis,David: 'Philosophical Papers Vol.2' [OUP 1986], p.215

A Reaction

I don't believe this. In the majority of cases I see the cause of an event, without having any interest in any particular enquiry. It is just so obvious that there isn't even a disagreement. Maybe there is only one sensible enquiry.