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Gwen Bradford

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198714026

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198714026.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 13 April 2021

Competent Causation

Competent Causation

(p.64) 3 Competent Causation

Gwen Bradford

Oxford University Press

An essential feature of achievement is that the process be related to the product in a certain way. According to the view suggested in this chapter, the process must cause the product in a way that is sufficiently competent. This chapter develops an account of what comes to be called competent causation. According to the view, an agent causes an outcome competently to the extent that she has a sufficient amount of the right sort of understanding about her process and its relationship to the product. One must not only understand the steps of the process, but also have a sufficient grasp of how the steps fit together. In short, one might say that to cause something competently is to know what you’re doing. This view captures that the product of an achievement can’t be the result of too much good luck.

Keywords:   achievement, competence, knowledge, luck, ability

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