Pragmatic Causation

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Eagle, Antony
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Two arguments due to Russell are examined, and found to show that the notion of causation as full determination doesn’t mesh easily with deterministic global physics and the distinction between effective and ineffective strategies. But a local notion of causation as involving a certain kind of counterfactual dependence is, I argue, compatible with Russell’s conclusions. I defend it from a resurgent form of Russell’s microphysical determinism argument by deploying a pragmatic account of the nature and function of scientific theories.