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A Variety of Causes

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2022.05.05 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews

Paul Noordhof, A Variety of Causes, Oxford University Press, 2020, 574pp., $110.00 (hbk), ISBN: 9780199251469.

Reviewed by J. Dmitri Gallow, Dianoia Institute of Philosophy

Paul Noordhof’s book presents and defends a counterfactual theory of causation. It is incredibly detailed; Noordhof dots every possible ‘i’ and crosses every possible ‘t’. The book contains an extended discussion of Humean supervenience, dives deep into the theory of counterfactuals and the metaphysics of events which the theory presupposes, contains detailed discussion of so-called ‘negative’ causation, causal processes, the non-symmetry of causation, the relationship between causation and agency, causation and laws of nature, the metaphysics of chance, and much else—more than I can concisely list in this review. Readers interested in any of these topics will find stimulating discussion in this book—though they may find the discussion somewhat daunting to consume. If I were to raise one concern with the book, it would be…

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