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Three Aspects of One Form of Dependence
It seems plausible that if event c, as an instance of property F, is causally relevant for event e's being an instance of property G, event e with property G would not have occurred if c had not exemplified F in those circumstances. However, instead of this explication in terms of a counterfactual conditional, the relation of causal relevance can be explained by comparing conditional probabilities: the conditional probability of effect e given cause c is higher than the conditional probability of e given not-c. In this work, Elina Packalén examines the notions of causal relevance, conditional statement, and conditional probability. Packalén surveys several accounts of each notion and concludes that these concepts are connected. There is no vicious circularity, however, since the concepts discussed in this work are regarded as different - though not distinct - aspects of a relation of dependence which underlies change in events or states of affairs. It follows, for instance, that resorting to causal relevance while considering the reality of mental or aesthetic properties evokes, at least implicitly, the ideas of conditional statement and conditional probability. Similarity, explaining the meaning of counterfactuals in term of causal notions of conditional probabilities of events is likely to hark back to conditional statements.
|Sarja:||Reports from the Department of Philosophy Vol. 11|