Single Idea 8423

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

Full Idea

My (counterfactual) analysis is meant to apply to causation in particular cases; it is not an analysis of causal generalizations. Those presumably quantify over particulars, but it is hard to match natural language to the quantifiers.

Gist of Idea

My counterfactual analysis applies to particular cases, not generalisations


David Lewis (Causation [1973], p.195)

Book Reference

'Causation', ed/tr. Sosa,E. /Tooley,M. [OUP 1993], p.195

A Reaction

What authority could you have for asserting a counterfactual claim, if you only had one observation? Isn't the counterfactual claim the hallmark of a generalisation? For one case, 'if not-c, then not-e' is just a speculation.