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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: 29 July 2021

Causation, Intervention, and Agency

Causation, Intervention, and Agency

Woodward on Menzies and Price

(p.73) 5 Causation, Intervention, and Agency
Making a Difference

Huw Price

Oxford University Press

In his influential book Making Things Happen (2003) and elsewhere, James Woodward has noted some affinities between his own interventionist account of causation and the view defended by Peter Menzies and Huw Price in ‘Causation as a Secondary Quality’ (British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, 1993), but argued that the latter view is implausibly ‘subjective’. This chapter discusses Woodward’s criticisms. It argues (i) that the Menzies and Price view is not as different from Woodward’s own account as he believes; (ii) that insofar as it is different, it has some advantages whose importance Woodward misses; and (iii) that the Menzies and Price view lacks some elements whose importance Woodward rightly stresses. It also argues that when properly characterized, the ‘subjectivity’ of the Menzies and Price view survives unscathed—and that Woodward’s interventionism is stronger for embracing it.

Keywords:   causation, agency, interventionism, subjectivity, James Woodward, Peter Menzies, Huw Price

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