Reading Group, Michaelmas Term 2014 and Hilary Term 2015

The joint reading group of the Power Structuralism project and The Metaphysics of Entanglement project for 2014/2015 focused on Causation and its Basis in Fundamental Physics by Douglas Kutach (OUP, 2013). Kutach offers a three-tiered account of causation, consisting of a probability-based account of token causation at the fundamental level, a counterfactual account of type causation at the macrolevel, and a reduction of ordinary causal talk to these two. The chapters covered this term deal with effective strategies, causal asymmetry, backtracking, and the metaphysics and psychology of ordinary causal claims.

Click here for the OUP catalogue entry of the book and here for a review by John T Roberts in Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews. The book is available on Oxford Scholarship online. (For those based in Oxford, the link is here.)

Schedule for Hilary Term:

28 Jan: Chapter 5, "The empirical content of promotion" (handout)

11 Feb: Chapter 6, "Backtracking influence" (handout)

25 Feb: Chapter 7, "Causal asymmetry" (handout)

11 March: Chapters 8 & 9, "Culpable causation" and "The psychology of culpable causation"(handout)