A Critique of Mellor's Argument against 'Backwards' Causation
Riggs (Peter J.)
Source: British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, Vol. 42, No. 1 (Mar., 1991), pp. 75-86
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Author’s Abstract

In this paper, criticisms are made of the main tenets of Professor Mellor's argument against 'backwards' causation1. He requires a closed causal chain of events if there is to be 'backwards' causation2, but this condition is a metaphysical assumption which he cannot totally substantiate. Other objections to Mellor's argument concern his probabilistic analysis of causation3 and the use to which he puts this analysis. In particular, his use of conditional probability inequality to establish the 'direction' of causation4 is shown to be in error.


  1. Introduction
  2. 'Backwards' Causation5 and Causal Loops
  3. Mellor's 'Gedankenexperiment'
  4. Criticisms
  5. Conclusions

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