Platitudes and Counterexamples

Peter Menzies*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


This article explains the conception of causation as a natural relation in more detail. It outlines some of the features of our use of the causal concept that do not fit with the idea of causation as a natural relation between events. It then outlines the correct explanation of these features, replacing the metaphysical conception of causation with a conception of causation in terms of a contrastive difference-making relation, where the contrasts are determined contextually on the basis of what are often normative considerations.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Causation
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages27
ISBN (Electronic)9780191577246
ISBN (Print)9780199279739
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2010


  • Causal concept
  • Conception of causation
  • Counterexamples
  • Natural relation
  • Normative considerations
  • Platitudes


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