We propose a new definition of actual causes, using structural equations to model counterfactuals. We show that the definition yields a plausible and elegant account of causation that handles well examples which have caused problems for other definitions and resolves major difficulties in the traditional account.

  1. Introduction

  2. Causal models: a review

    • 2.1Causal models

    • 2.2Syntax and semantics

  3. The definition of cause

  4. Examples

  5. A more refined definition

  6. Discussion

  • AAppendix: Some Technical Issues

  • A.1The active causal process

  • A.2A closer look at AC2(b)

  • A.3Causality with infinitely many variables

  • A.4Causality in nonrecursive models

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