In most academic and non-academic circles throughout history, the world and its operation have been viewed in terms of cause and effect. The principles of causation have been applied, fruitfully, across the sciences, law, medicine, and in everyday life, despite the lack of any agreed-upon framework for understanding what causation ultimately amounts to.
In this engaging and accessible introduction to the topic, Douglas Kutach explains and analyses the most prominent theories and examples in the philosophy of causation. The book is organized so as to respect the various cross-cutting and interdisciplinary concerns about causation, such as the reducibility of causation, its application to scientific modeling, its connection to influence and laws of nature, and its role in causal explanation. Kutach begins by presenting the four recurring distinctions in the literature on causation, proceeding through an exploration of various accounts of causation including determination, difference making and probability-raising. He concludes by carefully considering their application to the mind-body problem.
<i>Causation</i> provides a straightforward and compact survey of contemporary approaches to causation and serves as a friendly and clear guide for anyone interested in exploring the complex jungle of ideas that surround this fundamental philosophical topic.