Single Idea 8397

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

Full Idea

Some counterfactuals are based on non-causal laws, such as Newton's Third Law of Motion. 'If no force one way, then no force the other'. Lewis's counterfactual analysis implies that one force causes the other, which is not the case.

Gist of Idea

Counterfactual causation implies all laws are causal, which they aren't


comment on David Lewis (Causation [1973]) by Michael Tooley - Causation and Supervenience 5.2

Book Reference

'The Oxford Handbook of Metaphysics', ed/tr. Loux,M /Zimmerman,D [OUP 2005], p.409

A Reaction

So what exactly does 'cause' my punt to move forwards? Basing causal laws on counterfactual claims looks to me like putting the cart before the horse.