Causation is one of the most important and enduring topics in philosophy, going as far back as Aristotle. In this lucid and enthralling account, Helen Beebee covers all the major debates and issues in the philosophy of causation, making it the ideal starting point for those approaching the subject for the first time.
Beginning with an introduction to the concept, the book examines the most significant philosopher of causation – David Hume – and assesses the problems of induction and necessary connection in light of his thought. Helen Beebee then investigates different theories of causation and challenges to the Humean approach. She considers the concepts of regularity, causal experience, necessity and essences. Throughout the book, she also critically discusses other key philosophers on causation, including J.L. Mackie, John Wright and Brian Ellis.
‘This is a sophisticated and sustained discussion of Hume on causal reasoning and the idea of necessary connection … The various issues and authors are always handled with skill, and the main interpretations of Hume’s meaning are treated intelligently and fairly.’ Stephen Buckle, Australian Catholic University
1. Hume’s Targets 2. A Priori Reasoning and the Genesis of Knowledge 3. Causal Reasoning and the Genesis of Belief 4. The Idea of Necessary Connection 5. The Traditional Interpretation 6. Projectivism 7. Sceptical Realism