Levels of Reasons and Causal Explanation
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I defend the theory that the reasons why some event occurred are its causes. Many “counterexamples” to this theory turn on confusing two levels of reasons. We should distinguish the reasons why an event occurred (“first-level reasons”) from the reasons why those reasons are reasons (“second-level reasons”). An example that treats a secondlevel reason as a first-level reason will look like a counterexample if that second-level reason is not a cause. But second-level reasons need not be first-level reasons.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Linguistics and Philosophy
Philosophy of Science
University of Chicago Press
Skow, Bradford. “Levels of Reasons and Causal Explanation.” Philosophy of Science 84, 5 (December 2017): 905–915 © 2017 Philosophy of Science Association
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