•  215
    Group Agency, Responsibility, and Control
    Philosophy of the Social Sciences 43 (2): 201-224. 2013.
    Understanding how individual agency and group agency relate is of great importance for a range of philosophical and practical concerns, including responsibility ascription and institutional design. This article discusses the relation between corporate and individual responsibility in agency—in particular, the relation between corporate and individual control of actions. First, I criticize Christian List and Philip Pettit’s causal account of combined corporate and individual control. Second, I de…Read more
  •  112
    Functional stability and systems level causation
    Philosophy of Science 76 (5): 809-820. 2009.
    A wide range of gene knockout experiments shows that functional stability is an important feature of biological systems. On this backdrop, we present an argument for higher‐level causation based on counterfactual dependence. Furthermore, we sketch a metaphysical picture providing resources to explain the metaphysical nature of functional stability, higher‐level causation, and the relevant notion of levels. Our account aims to clarify the role empirical results and philosophical assumptions shoul…Read more
  •  59
    Immense Multiple Realization
    Metaphysica 8 (1): 61-78. 2007.
    In his latest book Physicalism, or Something near Enough, Jaegwon Kim argues that his version of functional reductionism is the most promising way for saving mental causation. I argue, on the other hand, that there is an internal tension in his position: Functional reductionism does not save mental causation if Kim’s own supervenience argument is sound. My line of reasoning has the following steps: (1) I discuss the supervenience argument and I explain how it motivates Kim’s functional reduction…Read more
  •  53
    Causal overdetermination, the existence of more than one sufficient cause for an effect, is standardly regarded as unacceptable among philosophers of mental causation. Philosophers of mind, both proponents of causal exclusion arguments and defenders of non-reductive physicalism, seem generally displeased with the idea of mental causes merely overdetermining their already physically determined effects. However, as I point out below, overdetermination is widespread in the broadly physical domain. …Read more
  •  48
    Restricted Causal Relevance
    British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 70 (2): 431-457. 2019.
    Causal selection and priority are at the heart of discussions of the causal parity thesis, which says that all causes of a given effect are on a par, and that any justified priority assigned to a given cause results from causal explanatory interests. In theories of causation that provide necessary and sufficient conditions for the truth of causal claims, status as cause is an either/or issue: either a given cause satisfies the conditions or it does not. Consequently, assessments of causal parity…Read more
  •  38
    Causal knowledge in evidence-based medicine. In reply to Kerry et al.'s causation and evidence-based practice: an ontological review
    with Veli-Pekka Parkkinen
    Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice 20 (6): 981-984. 2014.
    Kerry et al. criticize our discussion of causal knowledge in evidence-based medicine (EBM) and our assessment of the relevance of their dispositionalist ontology for EBM. Three issues need to be addressed in response: (1) problems concerning transfer of causal knowledge across heterogeneous contexts; (2) how predictions about the effects of individual treatments based on population-level evidence from RCTs are fallible; and (3) the relevance of ontological theories like dispositionalism for EBM.
  •  20
    Causation and Counterfactual Dependence in Robust Biological Systems
    In Hanne Andersen, Dennis Dieks, Wenceslao González, Thomas Uebel & Gregory Wheeler (eds.), New Challenges to Philosophy of Science, Springer Verlag. pp. 179--193. 2013.
    In many biological experiments, due to gene-redundancy or distributed backup mechanisms, there are no visible effects on the functionality of the organism when a gene is knocked out or down. In such cases there is apparently no counterfactual dependence between the gene and the phenotype in question, although intuitively the gene is causally relevant. Due to relativity of causal relations to causal models, we suggest that such cases can be handled by changing the resolution of the causal model t…Read more
  •  12
    The Multiple Realization Book
    International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 31 (2): 218-221. 2017.
  •  10
    Causation in evidence-based medicine: in reply to Kerry et al
    with Veli-Pekka Parkkinen
    Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice 21 (3): 532-534. 2015.
  •  10
    The NANOCAN project aims to enhance our understanding of the behavior of nanomaterials in the body, focusing on biodegradable nanoparticles for cancer diagnostics, and targeted cancer drug delivery. There is a range of available and potentially useful nanoparticles and drugs that might be of interest to such a project. In this paper, we make values implied in—and relevant to—choices between these alternatives explicit, thereby offering a case study of how values enter research processes in this …Read more