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Erkenntnis

, Volume 79, Supplement 10, pp 1819–1832 | Cite as

High-Level Exceptions Explained

  • Michael Strevens
Original Article

Abstract

Why are causal generalizations in the higher-level sciences “inexact”? That is, why do they have apparent exceptions? This paper offers one explanation: many causal generalizations cite as their antecedent—the \(F\) in \(Fs\,\, {\textit{are}}\,\, G\)—a property that is not causally relevant to the consequent, but which is rather “entangled” with a causally relevant property. Entanglement is a relation that may exist for many reasons, and that allows of exceptions. Causal generalizations that specify entangled but causally irrelevant antecedents therefore tolerate exceptions.

Keywords

Causal Connection Causal Claim Shield Volcano Causal Relevance Causal Generalization 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowledgments

Thank you to Laura Franklin-Hall, the editors, and two anonymous referees.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyNew York UniversityNew YorkUSA

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