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Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy

Volume 15, 2008


Cei Maslen
Pages 149-157

A Higher-Order Problem of Causal Relevance?

Robb & Heil describe a higher-order version of the popular Causal Exclusion Problem. In particular, they ask whether the argument that led to a change in focus from event causation to causal relevance of properties can be iterated, leading us to focus on the causal relevance of properties of those properties, or properties of properties of those properties, and so on. In this paper, I investigate this curious higher-order problem and argue that the appeal of both the original argument and its iterations reflects a lack of understanding of causal relata and a problem with the notion of causal relevance.

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