Single Idea 15553

[catalogued under 26. Natural Theory / C. Causation / 9. General Causation / c. Counterfactual causation]

Full Idea

I take causal dependence to be counterfactual dependence, of a suitably back-tracking sort, between distinct events.

Gist of Idea

Causal dependence is counterfactual dependence between events


David Lewis (Causal Explanation [1986], I)

Book Reference

Lewis,David: 'Philosophical Papers Vol.2' [OUP 1986], p.216

A Reaction

He quotes Hume in support. 'Counterfactual dependence' strikes me as too vague, or merely descriptive, for the job of explanation. 'If...then' is a logical relationship; what is it in nature that justifies the dependency?

Related Idea

Idea 15462 Backtracking counterfactuals go from supposed events to their required causal antecedents [Lewis]