Causation

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We want a parsimonious and productive ontology in which modality is dissolved into systems described in State Spaces:

there are no more basic principles of change and modality beyond these local constraints; they, and not possible worlds, laws, or counterfactuals, are the ontological bedrock of dynamical organizationWinning & Bechtel (2018), 295

In other words, causation consists in constraints.This is an example of a Deflationary Explanation.

This has explanatory benefits:

If causality is reconceptualized in terms of the operation of constraints, intentional behavior can be rethought as an example of constraints operating top-down. The emergence of mental properties like intentionality can in tum be understood in terms of the workings of contextual (enabling) constraints operating bottom up. … Appreciating the Janus nature of contextual constraints makes [formal and final causation as a] kind of whole/part and part/whole interactions understandable.

Constraints and thus causation are meaningless in the Block Universe, which can be seen as either fully constrained (fixed, a “block”) or unconstrained (no “larger system” or external environment).

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