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Making a DifferenceEssays on the Philosophy of Causation$
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Helen Beebee, Christopher Hitchcock, and Huw Price

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198746911

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198746911.001.0001

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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: 24 July 2021

Cause without Default

Cause without Default

(p.175) 10 Cause without Default
Making a Difference

Thomas Blanchard

Jonathan Schaffer

Oxford University Press

Must causal models distinguish default from deviant events? Yes, say Menzies (2004, 2007), Hitchcock (2007), Hall (2007), and Halpern (2008), inter alia. No, argues this chapter. It argues that adding defaults into causal models (1) generates complicating and under-constrained unclarities, (2) fails to solve the problems it has been claimed to solve, and (3) fails to fit the most psychologically plausible accounts of how norms influence cognition generally. Instead of adding defaults into causal models, it recommends clarifying the background constraints on what counts as an apt causal model, and attending to background cognitive biases about the availability of alternatives.

Keywords:   causation, models, counterfactuals, default, deviant, aptness, availability

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