A theory of causation: causae causantes (originating causes) as inus conditions in branching space-times

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Belnap, Nuel
preprint description
Branching space-times (BST) theory, as developed elsewhere, permits a sound and rigorously definable notion of ``originating cause'' or causa causans---a type of transition event---of an outcome event. Mackie has famously suggested that causes form a family of ``inus'' conditions, where an inus condition is ``an insufficient but non-redundant part of an unnecessary sufficient condition.'' In this essay the needed concepts of BST theory are developed in detail, and it is then proved that the causae causantes a given outcome event have exactly the structure of a set of Mackie inus conditions. The proof requires the assumption that there is no EPR-like ``funny business.'' This seems enough to constitute a theory of ``causation'' in at least one of its many senses.