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Being ReducedNew Essays on Reduction, Explanation, and Causation$
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Jakob Hohwy and Jesper Kallestrup

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199211531

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199211531.001.0001

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Causation and Determinable Properties: On the Efficacy of Colour, Shape, and Size *

Causation and Determinable Properties: On the Efficacy of Colour, Shape, and Size *

Chapter:
(p.176) 10 Causation and Determinable Properties: On the Efficacy of Colour, Shape, and Size*
Source:
Being Reduced
Author(s):

Tim Crane (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199211531.003.0011

This chapter is concerned with ‘the antinomy of determinable causation’. On the one hand, there is a good argument for the thesis that determinable properties can be causes. On the other hand, there is a good argument for the antithesis that only the most determinate properties can be causes. The chapter opts to reject the latter thesis by denying any straightforward link between the truth of counterfactuals and the causal efficacy of the determinable properties mentioned in them. To predicate a determinable property of an object is to specify that it has a sparse property within some range determined by the determinable concept. To say that had the cape not been red, the bull would not have been enraged is to say that there is a determinate property, e.g. a shade of scarlet, within a range determined by the concept of red on which the effect is counterfactually dependent.

Keywords:   causation, determinable-determinate, counterfactuals, causal efficacy, sparse property, concepts

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