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Journal of Philosophical Research

Volume 15, 1990

David Lynn Holt
Pages 263-277

Causation, Transitivity, and Causal Relata

I consider an alleged example of a non-transitive causal chain, on the basis of which J. Lee has argued that causation is non-transitive. I show that his analysis of the example rests on too coarse-grained an approach to causal relata. I develop a fine-grained analysis of events which owes much to Dretske’s notion of an allomorphic event, and I use this analysis to show that in the example all the genuine causal chains are indeed transitive. It emerges that when fine-grained analyses of events are possible, causal contexts are aIlomorphicaIly sensitive.

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