This book critically examines the recent discussions of powers and powers-based accounts of causation. The author then develops an original view of powers-based causation that aims to be compatible with the theories and findings of natural science.
Recently, there has been a dramatic revival of realist approaches to properties and causation, which focus on the relevance of Aristotelian metaphysics and the notion of powers for a scientifically informed view of causation. In this book, R.D. Ingthorsson argues that one central feature of powers-based accounts of causation is arguably incompatible with what is today recognized as fact in the sciences, notably that all interactions are thoroughly reciprocal. Ingthorsson’s powerful particulars view of powers-based causation accommodates for the reciprocity of interactions. It also draws out the consequences of that view for issue of causal necessity and offers a way to understand the constitution and persistence of compound objects as causal phenomena. Furthermore, Ingthorsson argues that compound entities, so understood, are just as much processes as they are substances.
A Powerful Particulars View of Causation will be of great interest to scholars and advanced students working in metaphysics, philosophy of science, and neo-Aristotelian philosophy, while also being accessible for a general audience.
Table of Contents
2. Powers Based vs. Neo-Humean Approaches
3. Causal Realism
4. Causal Production
5. Causal Necessity
6. Constitution and Persistence
7. Substance and Process
9. A Critique of Counterfactual Theories of Causation
10. The Contrast to Competing Views
R. D. Ingthorsson is a Researcher in the Department of Philosophy at Lund University, Sweden. He is the author of McTaggart’s Paradox (Routledge, 2016) and co-editor of Mental Causation and Ontology (2013).