Document Type

Article

Publication Date

3-2012

Department

Philosophy

Language

English

Publication Title

Acta Analytica

Abstract

A great deal has been written over the past decade defending 'higher-level' causes by arguing that overdetermination is more complex than many philosophers initially thought. Although two shooters overdetermine the death of a firing squad victim, a baseball and its parts do not overdetermine the breaking of a window. But while these analyses of overdetermination have no doubt been fruitful, the focus on overdetermination-while ignoring other varieties of causal relation-has limited the discussion. Many of the cases of interest resemble joint causes or a cause necessitating a simultaneous epiphenomenon as much as they resemble overdeterminers. If we are to fully understand higher-level causation, we need to distinguish it from these causal relations as well. This paper is dedicated to the task, focusing especially on the 'threat' that higher-level causes are epiphenomena necessitated by lower-level causes.

Comments

This author post-print is made available on Dickinson Scholar with the permission of the publisher. The final publication is available via Springer's Website.

Published as:
Engelhardt, Jeff. "Varieties of Multiple Antecedent Cause." Acta Analytica, 27, no. 3 (2012): 231-46.

DOI

10.1007/s12136-012-0147-3

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