Christian List

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Causation and causal explanation | go back to projects

I am interested in theories of causation and particularly 'exclusion arguments' regarding causation in multi-level systems such as social or cognitive systems. According to such arguments, causation at a lower ('micro') level (e.g., an individual or neural level) competes with, and in fact excludes, causation at a higher ('macro') level (e.g., a social or mental one) and/or vice-versa.

Together with Peter Menzies, I proposed a defence of higher-level difference-making causation against the exclusion problem. In a structurally similar way, I have also defended certain forms of methodological holism in the social sciences (in joint work with Kai Spiekermann).

Together with Marcus Pivato, I have recently been developing a dynamical-systems framework for metaphysics and the philosophy of science, in which some issues related to causation and scientific laws can be formalized.

Jointly with Richard Bradley and Franz Dietrich, I have worked on the aggregation of causal judgements across multiple individuals (e.g., in an expert panel), where causal judgments are represented using Bayesian networks.


Does the exclusion argument put any pressure on dualism? (with D. Stoljar), Australasian Journal of Philosophy 95(1): 96-108, 2017 [preprint | official journal link]

Dynamic and stochastic systems as a framework for metaphysics and the philosophy of science (with M. Pivato)

My brain made me do it: The exclusion argument against free will, and what’s wrong with it (with P. Menzies), in H. Beebee, C. Hitchcock, and H. Price (eds.), Making a Difference, Oxford (Oxford University Press), 2017

Aggregating Causal Judgements (with R. Bradley and F. Dietrich), Philosophy of Science 81: 491-515, 2014

Methodological Individualism and Holism in Political Science: A Reconciliation (with K. Spiekermann), American Political Science Review 107(4): 629-643, 2013

Mentalism versus behaviourism in economics: a philosophy-of-science perspective (with F. Dietrich), 2012

Non-Reductive Physicalism and the Limits of the Exclusion Principle (with Peter Menzies), Journal of Philosophy CVI(9): 475-502, 2009

The Causal Autonomy of the Special Sciences (with Peter Menzies), in C. Mcdonald and G. Mcdonald (eds.), Emergence in Mind, Oxford (Oxford University Press)

Other papers on scientific explanation

Craig's Theorem and the Empirical Underdetermination Thesis Reassessed, Disputatio 7: 28-39, 1999



Last modified June 2018

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