Philosophy Talk: Neil McDonnell (Univ. of Glasgow)


Location: 306 DeBartolo Hall

Prof. Neil McDonnell will be giving a talk titled:  "Causation in the Privileged Context" on Thursday, April  21 in DeBartolo Hall, Room 306.

For more information on Prof. McDonnell, please visit his website.


In this paper I present a wide-angled view of the causation literature and highlight some key methodological considerations concerning what qualifies as a successful account of causation. Central to my case is the 'crucial' platitude presented by Menzies (2009) that causation is a natural relation. Operating within that constraint, I will show a problem for causal theorists who take ordinary causal talk seriously and then I will offer an idiosyncratic solution which appeals to the Privileged Context found in the paper's title. This will have some confronting implications, but in the end I will argue that the constraint imposed by the crucial platitude is liberating for philosophers working on the topic of causation.