Causation, Intervention and Agency—Woodward on Menzies and Price
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In his influential book 'Making Things Happen' (Oxford, 2003) and in other places, Jim Woodward has noted some affinities between his own account of causation and that of Menzies and Price (‘Causation as a secondary quality’, BJPS, 1993), but argued that the latter view is implausibly ‘subjective’. In this piece I discuss Woodward’s criticisms. I argue that the Menzies and Price view is not as different from Woodward’s own account as he believes, and that in so far as it is different, it has some advantages whose importance Woodward misses; but also that the Menzies and Price view lacks some elements whose importance Woodward rightly stresses. When properly characterized, however, the ‘subjectivity’ survives unscathed.