The following is the webpage for Wes Salmon's course on causality, given at Kyoto University, Spring 2000.

The page was prepared by Soshichi Uchii, who, as the host, assisted Salmon's course.

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Wesley Salmon & S. Uchii, Causality

[Those who have not received their exam-answer or paper can pick it up at Prof. Uchii's office. 14 July]

The following books (easily available) are going to be used, as well as Salmon's Four Decades of Scientific Explanation, Univ. of Minnesota Press, 1990 (out of print, but never mind!). And for new information, visit this site occasionally! The following two books will be available at the University bookseller, Renais (ordered already).

J. L. Mackie, The Cement of the Universe: A Study of Causation [paperback edition], Oxford University Press, 1980 (More copies came to the University Bookseller!)

    Introduction
    1. Hume's Account of Causation ¨Mackie's diagram
    2. The Concept of Causation---Conditional Analyses
    3. Causal Regularities
    4. Kant and Transcendentalism
    5. Common Sense and the Law
    6. Functional Laws and Concomitant Variation
    7. The Direction of Causation ¨Mackie on Fixity New
    8. The Necessity of Causes
    9. Statistical Laws
    10. Extensionality---Two Kinds of Cause
    11. Teleology

    Appendix. Eliminative Methods of Induction


Ernest Sosa and Michael Tooley, eds., Causation (Oxford Readings in Philosophy), Oxford University Press, 1993 (This book came to the University bookseller)

Introduction, Ernest Sosa and Michael Tooley

  1. Causes and Conditions, John L. Mackie
  2. Defects of the Necessary Condition analysis of Causation, Michael Scriven
  3. Causes and Events: Mackie on Causation, Jaegwon Kim
  4. Causal Relations, Donald Davidson
  5. Causality and Determination, G. E. M. Anscombe
  6. On the Logic and Epistemology of the Causal Relation, G. H. von Wright
  7. On the Nature and the Observability of the Causal Relation, C. J. Ducasse
  8. Probabilistic Causality, Wesley C. Salmon ¨Conjunctive fork New
  9. Causality: Production and Propagation, Wesley C. Salmon
  10. Causation: Reductionism versus Realism, Michael Tooley
  11. Causation, David Lewis
  12. Causes and Counterfactuals, Jaegwon Kim
  13. Lewis's Programme, Paul Horwich
  14. Event Causation, Ernest Sosa
  15. Varieties of Causation, Ernest Sosa

Syllabus (final version)

Causality, W. Salmon, Spring 2000

Tue 11 April: Brief orientation

Tue 18 April: Hume, Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding (¤IV, pt. I)

Thurs 20 April: Hume, Enquiry (¤VII)

Tue 25 April: Mackie, The Cement of the Universe, Chap. 1 (selected passages)

Thurs 27 April: Mackie, Chap. 1

Tue 2 May: Mackie, Chap. 2 (selected passages).

Thurs 4 May: Holiday

Tue 9 May: Mackie, Chap. 2

Thurs 11 May: Mackie, Chap. 2

Tue 16 May: Mackie, Chap. 3 (selected passages)

Thurs18 May: Mackie, Chap. 3

Tue 23 May: Mackie, Chap. 6

Thurs 25 May: Mackie, Chap. 7

Tue 30 May: Salmon, "Causality: Production and Propagation," Sosa&Tooley, IX

Thurs 1 June: Salmon, "Causality: Production and Propagation"

Tue 6 June: Salmon, "Probabilistic Causality," Sosa&Tooley, VIII

Thurs 8 June: Salmon, "Probabilistic Causality"

Tue 13 June: Mackie, Chap. 7 (selected passage--p.183, top of page, to end of chapter)

**Thurs 15 June: Davidson, "Sosa & Tooley, IV (Papers due)

Tue 20 June: Lewis, Kim, and Horwich, Sosa&Tooley, XI-XIII(Take-home exam questions distributed)

Thurs 22 June: Lewis, Kim, Horwich

**Tue 27 June: Take-home exam answers due


CAUSATION @Suggested Topics for Term Papers

You may write on any topic you choose, as long as it is genuinely relevant to the material of this course. If you are in doubt, please ask instructor about it. PLEASE TRY TO WRITE YOUR PAPER IN ENGLISH. Your paper will be evaluated on its philosophical content alone; mistakes in grammar or spelling will NOT be counted against you.

Your paper should be between 10 and 15 pages-- double spaced, with reasonable margins and type size--not more than 15 pages. The following suggestions are offered to help you choose a topic; you are NOT obliged to select from this list.

1. The extent to which Mackie succeeds in his goal of locating causation "in the objects" and not "in the mind"

2. Critical discussion of Mackie's INUS conditions as a basis for causation (critical discussion includes positive as well as negative aspects)

3. Critical discussion of Mill's methods for discovering and proving causal relations (including Mackie's Appendix on Eliminative Induction) (If you are taking a course on Mill, you may write on this topic, but you must include a note to this effect with your paper. Obviously, you may not submit the same paper in both courses.)

4. The objectivity of causal relations, including such pragmatic points as context-dependency (counterfactuals could be considered in this connection)

5. Causality and indeterminism (a) probabilistic causality, and/or (b) causality in quantum mechanics (for those who have studied quantum mechanics in physics courses)

6. The relationship between causation and time (Hume vs. Mackie; causal fixity)

7. Time, causal direction, conjunctive forks (see W. Salmon, IX, Sosa & Tooley)

Papers will be due on Thursday 15 June. A take-home final examination will be given out on Tuesday 20 June to be handed in on Tuesday 27 June.


Last modified Dec. 14, 2008. S. Uchii