What is the nature of causation? How is causation linked with explanation? And can there be an adequate theory of explanation? These questions and many others are addressed in this unified and rigorous examination of the philosophical problems surrounding causation, laws and explanation. Part 1 of this book explores Hume's views on causation, theories of singular causation, and counterfactual and mechanistic approaches. Part 2 considers the regularity view of laws and laws as relations among universals, as well as recent alternative approaches to laws. Part 3 examines the issues arising from deductive-nomological explanation, statistical explanation, the explanation of laws and the metaphysics of explanation. Accessible to readers of all levels, this book provides an excellent introduction to one of the most enduring problems of philosophy.
Preface Abbreviations Introduction Part I Causation 1. Hume on causation 2. Regularities and singular causation 3. Causation and counterfactuals 4. Causation and mechanism Part II Laws of nature 5. The regularity view of laws 6. Laws as relations among universals 7. Alternative approaches to laws Part III Explanation 8. Deductive-nomological explanation 9. Statistical explanation 10. Explanation of laws 11. The metaphysics of explanation Notes References Index