an AHRC funded workshop
Venue: Learning Centre, LG 52 (Building R28 on attached Campus Map – next to University rail station)
Convener: Francis Longworth
11.00–12.00: MoS Project Meeting
12.00–1.00pm: Lunch (Staff House – R24 on map)
1.00–2.15pm: Francis Longworth (Birmingham) “What is the Purpose of a Theory of Causation? Revisionary and Non-Revisionary Analyses”
2.15–2.45pm: Coffee and biscuits
2.45–4.00pm: Arif Ahmed (Cambridge) “Causation and Effective Strategies”
4.00–4.30pm: Coffee and pastries
4.30–6.00pm: Peter Menzies (Macquarie) “Do Causal Statements Have Actual World Truthmakers?”
7.00pm: Dinner at Brasserie Blanc, Brindleyplace, Birmingham. (Menu attached).
Francis Longworth (Birmingham) “;What is the Purpose of a Theory of Causation? Revisionary and Non-Revisionary Analyses”
I distinguish between several purposes a theory of causation might serve: semantic, metaphysical, analytic, epistemic and scientific, and discuss the extent to which it is permissible for each of the corresponding analyses to deviate from our ordinary folk concept. I suggest that a failure to pay attention to these distinctions has inhibited progress towards an adequate theoretical treatment of causation.
Arif Ahmed (Cambridge) “Causation and Effective Strategies”
Are causal notions necessary for distinguishing between effective and ineffective courses of action?
Peter Menzies (Macquarie) “Do Causal Claims Have Actual World Truthmakers?”
It is common ground among all currently discussed theories of singular causation that causal statements have truth-makers in patterns of actual facts, processes and laws. More precisely, these theories endorse the thesis that the truth-values of all singular causal statements are determined by the sum total of actual facts, processes and laws. I shall present a range of examples that demonstrate that this thesis is false. After rejecting two defences of the thesis against these counterexamples, I explain how certain counterfactual default settings of causal variables play a crucial role in determining the truth-values of causal statements.