Regularity Theories Reassessed

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Baumgartner, Michael
preprint description
Until very recently, regularity accounts of causation have virtually vanished from the scene. Problems encountered within other theoretical frameworks have lately induced philosophers working on causation -- as e.g. Hall (2004) or Beebee (2006) -- to direct their attention back to regularity theoretic analyses. In light of the most recent proposals of regularity theories, the essay at hand will therefore reassess 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 will be shown that most of these objections target strikingly over-simplified regularity theoretic sketches, which no present-day regularity theorists would seriously consider worth a second thought. By outlining ways to refute these objections it will be argued that the prevalent conviction as to the overall failure of regularity theories has been hasty -- to say the least.