•  718
    Two concepts of causation
    In John Collins, Ned Hall & Laurie Paul (eds.), Causation and Counterfactuals, Mit Press. pp. 225-276. 2004.
  •  570
  •  332
    Two mistakes about credence and chance
    Australasian Journal of Philosophy 82 (1). 2004.
    David Lewis's influential work on the epistemology and metaphysics of objective chance has convinced many philosophers of the central importance of the following two claims: First, it is a serious cost of reductionist positions about chance (such as that occupied by Lewis) that they are, apparently, forced to modify the Principal Principle--the central principle relating objective chance to rational subjective probability--in order to avoid contradiction. Second, it is a perhaps more serious cos…Read more
  •  283
    Structural equations and causation
    Philosophical Studies 132 (1). 2007.
    Structural equations have become increasingly popular in recent years as tools for understanding causation. But standard structural equations approaches to causation face deep problems. The most philosophically interesting of these consists in their failure to incorporate a distinction between default states of an object or system, and deviations therefrom. Exploring this problem, and how to fix it, helps to illuminate the central role this distinction plays in our causal thinking.
  •  270
    Causation and Counterfactuals (edited book)
    with John Collins and Laurie Paul
    MIT Press. 2004.
    Thirty years after Lewis's paper, this book brings together some of the most important recent work connecting—or, in some cases, disputing the connection ...
  •  268
    Chalmers on consciousness and quantum mechanics
    with Alex Byrne
    Philosophy of Science 66 (3): 370-90. 1999.
    The textbook presentation of quantum mechanics, in a nutshell, is this. The physical state of any isolated system evolves deterministically in accordance with Schrödinger's equation until a "measurement" of some physical magnitude M (e.g. position, energy, spin) is made. Restricting attention to the case where the values of M are discrete, the system's pre-measurement state-vector f is a linear combination, or "superposition", of vectors f1, f2,... that individually represent states that..
  •  260
    Writing the Book of the World by Theodore Sider
    Journal of Philosophy 111 (4): 219-224. 2014.
  •  246
    Causation and Ceteris Paribus Laws
    The Harvard Review of Philosophy 13 (1): 80-99. 2005.
    But of all this more later. To help fix ideas, let’s start with a concrete example
  •  222
    Causation and the Price of Transitivity
    Journal of Philosophy 97 (4): 198. 2000.
  •  205
    Contemporary philosophical work on causation is a tangled mess of disparate aims, approaches, and accounts. Best to cut through it by means of ruthless but, hopefully, sensible judgments. The ones that follow are designed to sketch the most fruitful avenues for future work.
  •  203
    Induction and Probability
    In Peter Machamer & Michael Silberstein (eds.), The Blackwell Guide to the Philosophy of Science, . pp. 149-172. 2002.
    Arguably, Hume's greatest single contribution to contemporary philosophy of science has been the problem of induction (1739). Before attempting its statement, we need to spend a few words identifying the subject matter of this corner of epistemology. At a first pass, induction concerns ampliative inferences drawn on the basis of evidence (presumably, evidence acquired more or less directly from experience)—that is, inferences whose conclusions are not (validly) entailed by the premises. Philosop…Read more
  •  173
    Against the PCA-analysis
    with A. Byrne
    Analysis 58 (1): 38-44. 1998.
    Jonardon Ganeri, Paul Noordhof, and Murali Ramachandran (1996) have proposed a new counterfactual analysis of causation. We argue that this – the PCA-analysis – is incorrect. In section 1, we explain David Lewis’s first counterfactual analysis of causation, and a problem that led him to propose a second. In section 2 we explain the PCA-analysis, advertised as an improvement on Lewis’s later account. We then give counterexamples to the necessity (section 3) and sufficiency (section 4) of the PCA-an…Read more
  •  170
    How to set a surprise exam
    Mind 108 (432): 647-703. 1999.
    The professor announces a surprise exam for the upcoming week; her clever student purports to demonstrate by reductio that she cannot possibly give such an exam. Diagnosing his puzzling argument reveals a deeper puzzle: Is the student justified in believing the announcement? It would seem so, particularly if the upcoming 'week' is long enough. On the other hand, a plausible principle states that if, at the outset, the student is justified in believing some proposition, then he is also justified …Read more
  •  170
    David Lewis's metaphysics
    Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 2010.
  •  149
    Rescued from the rubbish Bin: Lewis on causation
    Philosophy of Science 71 (5): 1107-1114. 2004.
    Lewis's work on causation was governed by a familiar methodological approach: the aim was to come up with an account of causation that would recover, in as elegant a fashion as possible, all of our firm “pre‐theoretic” intuitions about hypothetical cases. That methodology faces an obvious challenge, in that it is not clear why anyone not interested in the semantics of the English word “cause” should care about its results. Better to take a different approach, one which treats our intuitions abou…Read more
  •  139
    Causation and preemption
    In Peter Clark & Katherine Hawley (eds.), Philosophy of Science Today, Oxford University Press. 2003.
  •  111
    David Lewis
    The Harvard Review of Philosophy 10 (1): 81-84. 2002.
  •  103
    Comments on Michael Strevens’s Depth (review)
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 84 (2): 474-482. 2012.
  •  59
    Comments on Woodward, "Making Things Happen" (review)
    History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 28 (4). 2006.
  •  55
    Causation and the sciences
    In Steven French & Juha Saatsi (eds.), Continuum Companion to the Philosophy of Science, Continuum. pp. 96--119. 2011.
  •  44
    The Large-Scale Joints of the World
    Humana Mente 4 (19). 2011.
    What is the compositional structure of reality? That question divides naturally into these two: What is the compositional structure of the particulars that populate reality? And what is the structure of the properties and relations that fix what these entities are like? David Lewis‘s work in ontology and mereology provides the materials for an extraordinarily clean answer to the first question. First, among the particulars1 that populate reality are mereological simples: entities that have no pr…Read more
  •  2
    In Frank Jackson & Michael Smith (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Contemporary Philosophy, Oxford University Press. 2003.