Abstract

The starting point in the development of probabilistic analyses of token causation has usually been the naïve intuition that, in some relevant sense, a cause raises the probability of its effect. But there are well-known examples both of non-probability-raising causation and of probability-raising non-causation. Sophisticated extant probabilistic analyses treat many such cases correctly, but only at the cost of excluding the possibilities of direct non-probability-raising causation, failures of causal transitivity, action-at-a-distance, prevention, and causation by absence and omission. I show that an examination of the structure of these problem cases suggests a different treatment, one which avoids the costs of extant probabilistic analyses.

  • 1 Introduction

  • 2 A Naïve Probabilistic Analysis, Two Objections and a Refinement

  • 3 Non-probability-raising Causation

  • 4 Graphical Representation of Cases of Non-probability-raising Causation

  • 5 Probability-raising Non-causation

  • 6 Graphical Representation of Cases of Probability-raising Non-causation

  • 7 Completing the Probabilistic Analysis of Causation

  • 8 Problem Cases for Extant Probabilistic Analyses

    •  8.1 Causation by omission

    •  8.2 Direct non-probability-raising causation

    •  8.3 Failures of transitivity

  • 9 Conclusion

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