Årsagernes grænser - En kritisk diskussion af J. L. Mackies begreb om det kausale felt

Susanne N. Christensen

Studenteropgave: Speciale


The notion of the causal field is a promising, philosophical concept for describing an important feature of our ordinary (pre-theoretical) causal reasoning. That is, the very boundaries of what we take to be relevant under the circumstances, in order to explain a given causal event. This thesis is a critical discussion of the concept as described in the general causal theory of J. L. Mackie. The author outlines on one hand how Mackie has made several insightful points in respect to how we actually think and talk about causation in our ordinary notion of the world. To this end Mackie's points are compared to those of P.F. Strawson's in his causal theory. On the other hand the author criticizes Mackie’s use of the concept of the causal field in relation to scientific causal reasoning, arguing that Mackie's use of the concept, in this context, reflects several metaphysical assumptions. Firstly reflecting a materialist notion of what causality is on an ontological level, leading to an unacceptably reductionist account of the notion of causality. Secondly it reflects an untenable faith in the 'necessary truth' of scientific accounts. Consequently the author agrees with some of the central points of criticism which Strawson makes against the type of scientific realism that characterizes Mackie’s position.

UddannelserFilosofi og Videnskabsteori, (Bachelor/kandidatuddannelse) Kandidat
Udgivelsesdato28 jul. 2014


  • P. F. Strawson
  • J. L. Mackie
  • neo-kantianisme
  • empirisme
  • det kausale felt
  • kausalt ræsonnement