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Cause by Omission and Norms

Abstract Saying, "if Mary had watered Sam's plant, it wouldn't have died," is an ordinary way to identify Mary not watering Sam's plant as the cause of its death. But there are problems with this statement. If we identify Mary's omitted action as the cause, we seemingly admit an inordinate number of omissions as causes. For any counterfactual statement containing the omitted action is true (e.g. if Hillary Clinton had watered Sam's plant, it wouldn't have died). The statement, moreover, is mysterious because it is not clear why one protasis is more salient than any alternatives such as "if Sam hadn't gone to Bismarck." In the burgeoning field of experimental metaphysics, some theorists have tried to ac... (more)
Created Date 2013
Contributor Henne, Paul (Author) / Kobes, Bernard W (Advisor) / Pinillos, Nestor A (Advisor) / Reynolds, Steven (Committee member) / Arizona State University (Publisher)
Subject Philosophy / Absence / Cause / Experimental Philosophy / Norms / Omissions / Philosophy
Type Masters Thesis
Extent 69 pages
Language English
Reuse Permissions All Rights Reserved
Note M.A. Philosophy 2013
Collaborating Institutions Graduate College / ASU Library
Additional Formats MODS / OAI Dublin Core / RIS

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Description Dissertation/Thesis