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Published May 1996 | public
Journal Article

A Probabilistic Theory of Second Order Causation


Larry Wright and others have advanced causal accounts of functional explanation, designed to alleviate fears about the legitimacy of such explanations. These analyses take functional explanations to describe second order causal relations. These second order relations are conceptually puzzling. I present an account of second order causation from within the framework of Eells' probabilistic theory of causation; the account makes use of the population-relativity of causation that is built into this theory.

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© 1996 Kluwer Academic Publishers. Manuscript submitted October 10. 1994; Final version received July II, 1995.

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