Causation as Influence
Lewis (David)
Source: Journal of Philosophy 97, No. 4, Special Issue: Causation, Apr., 2000, pp. 182-197
Paper - Abstract

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Philosophers Index Abstract

    A problem for counterfactual analyses of causation1 is preemption: sometimes, without the cause, the effect would have happened anyway, due to some back-up potential cause that was waiting in reserve. In some such cases, the cause makes no difference to whether the effect occurs but does make a difference to how and when it occurs. In still other cases, even that is not so; but how and when the cause occurs still makes a difference to how and when the effect occurs. Thus, we can solve at least some cases of the preemption problem by turning from whether-whether counterfactual dependence to a more general conception of counterfactual dependence, including dependence of how, when, and whether upon how, when, and whether.

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