Horia Tarnovanu, ‘Causal Stability in Moral Contexts’

“Understanding the causal course of nature as a complex, seamless structure of interactions exposes causal claims to a basic form of indeterminacy: under an analysis attentive to increasingly broader causal ramifications, it is simply indeterminate which cause or causal pathway in the antecedent network of determiners brings about a target-effect. Any singular target-consequence appears to be the end-result of sophisticated causal histories, with an ancestry theoretically traceable as far as the beginning of the universe. We say, for instance, that Patroclus caused Kebriones’s death by striking him with a glittering and jagged stone (Homer 792BC/1991). But it may be argued that Hector caused Kebriones’s death, as he commanded him to whip the horses towards Patroclus while letting other Daanans go. Or the Fates, as they hold the helm of necessity and control the destiny of every mortal. There is a logical space for the view that Kebriones’s birth caused his death …”

Horia Tarnovanu, Causal Stability in Moral Contexts, Journal of Value Inquiry (2022). Published 8 April.

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