In this chapter the received view of causation, according to which causal relations are a distinctive species of external relation, and causal relata are taken to be pairs of events, the causing event preceding its effect, is discussed. The relation itself is presumed to be nonreflexive, asymmetrical, and transitive. This chapter considers the implications of adopting a conception of causation according to which causal relations are understood as the manifestings of reciprocal dispositions or powers. On such a conception, causation would most naturally be seen as a kind of symmetrical, nontransitive, internal relation, a relation founded on non-relational features of its relata. The chapter concludes with an assessment of the consequences of a view of this kind for familiar conceptions of natural necessity.
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