Rögnvaldur Ingthorsson: "Causal Production as Interaction: a Causal Account of Persistence and Grounding"

Rögnvaldur Ingthorsson (Lund): "Causal Production as Interaction: a Causal Account of Persistence and Grounding". Listen to the talk here.


In this talk I will elaborate on the naturalist theory of causation that I first presented in ‘Causal Production as Interaction’ (2002). In the course of presenting the view I will elucidate in what sense the account (i) presents causation as a necessary process of production without appeal to ceteris paribus clauses, (ii) explains the connection between causation and counterfactuals without appeal to a possible worlds ontology, (iii) does not suffer from the problem of action at a temporal distance, (iv) can exclude the possibility of interference and prevention, (v) is compatible with the way the natural sciences describe material reality (within the framework of classical science), and indeed explains why material reality—as described by science—is a causal reality. I will also indicate, more sketchily, how this causal account allows us to think of the persistence of compound entities as being a thoroughly causal affair, and thus provide a causal account of composition and grounding. Finally, I will discuss whether account depicts persistent compounds as both substances and processes.