Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Cause and context
Author: Kaiserman, Alexander
ISNI:       0000 0004 6421 768X
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2016
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Full text unavailable from EThOS. Please try the link below.
Access from Institution:
This thesis comprises an introduction and six papers on causation, freedom and responsibility. Though mostly self-standing, the papers are unified by two common goals - to recognise and analyse the role of context in the semantics of causal claims and ascriptions of freedom; and to put metaphysical approaches to causation into closer contact with actual causal reasoning in science and the law. Chapter One defends a contextualist semantics of causal language that combines the ancient idea that causes necessitate their effects with Angelika Kratzer's semantics of modality. Chapter Two extends this approach to ascriptions of freedom, by combining Kratzer's account with the principle that an agent acts freely only if she could have acted otherwise. Chapter Three explores a neglected view which combines David Lewis's counterfactual account of causation with his counterpart-theoretic approach to de re modality. Chapter Four proposes an amendment to the interventionist account of causation in response to a worry raised by John Campbell about causation in psychology. Chapter Five motivates the idea that causation is a relation to which multiple events can contribute to different degrees, and defends a novel account of an event's degree of contribution to a causing of an effect. Chapter Six then argues, from a conception of tort law as a system of corrective justice, that a defendant should be held liable for a claimant's losses only to the degree to which the defendant's wrongdoing contributed to the causing of the claimant's harm.
Supervisor: Hawthorne, John ; Magidor, Ofra Sponsor: Arts and Humanities Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Causation ; Free will and determinism ; Philosophy