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IdealismNew Essays in Metaphysics$
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Tyron Goldschmidt and Kenneth L. Pearce

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198746973

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198746973.001.0001

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Causal Idealism

Causal Idealism

(p.217) 13 Causal Idealism

Sara Bernstein

Oxford University Press

This chapter argues that causal idealism, the view that causation is a product of mental activity, is at least as attractive as several contemporary views of causation that incorporate human thought and agency into the causal relation. The chapter discusses three such views: contextualism, which holds that truth conditions for causal judgments are contextual; contrastivism, which holds that the causal relation is a quaternary relation between a cause, an effect, and contextually specified contrast classes for the cause and the effect; and pragmatism, which holds that causal claims are sensitive to pragmatic factors. This chapter suggests that causal idealism has at least as much explanatory strength as these three theories, and is more parsimonious and internally stable.

Keywords:   idealism, causation, contextualism, contrastivism, pragmatism

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