Regularity Theories Reassessed

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Baumgartner, Michael
preprint description
For a long time, regularity accounts of causation have virtually vanished from the scene. Problems encountered within other theoretical frameworks have recently induced authors working on causation, laws of nature, or methodologies of causal reasoning -- as e.g. May (1999), Ragin (2000), Grasshoff & May (2001), Swartz (2003), Halpin (2003), Hall (2004), Beebee (2006) -- to direct their attention back to regularity theoretic analyses. In light of the latest proposals of regularity theories, the paper at hand therefore reassesses the criticism brought forward against regularity accounts since Mackie's famous, yet failed, (1974) attempts at analyzing causation with recourse to regularities among types of events. It is shown that most of these objections target strikingly over-simplified regularity theoretic sketches. By outlining ways to refute these objections it is argued that the prevalent conviction as to the overall failure of regularity theories has been hasty.