Where is there causation?

October 27, 2017 - October 29, 2017
Department of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies, Umeå University, Sweden

HD 108, Humanisthuset
Umeå university

This will be an accessible event, including organized related activities


  • Riksbanken Jubileumfonds

All speakers:

Thomas Blanchard
Illinois Wesleyan University
Alison Fernandes
University of Warwick
Jenann Ismael
University of Arizona
Thomas Kroedel
University of Hamburg
Christian Loew
University of Cologne
David Papineau
King's College London
Panu Raatikainen
University of Tampere
Bram Vaassen
Umeå University
Jim Woodward
University of Pittsburgh


Pär Sundström
Umeå University, Sweden
Bram Vaassen
Umeå University

Topic areas

Talks at this conference

Add a talk


Two seemingly conflicting lines of thought have been influential in the recent debates in philosophy of causation. On the one hand, it has been argued that causation can only take place at the physical level because all goings on in the world are ultimately determined by physics and physics itself is ‘causally closed’. The second line of thought argues that causal notions cannot play a role in physics, because the fundamental laws of physics are radically different from causal laws. Causal laws typically describe how local events determine events in their future; for example, a causal law can connect smoking to later occurrences of cancer. By contrast, physical laws connect the entirety of physical reality in a time-symmetric manner: the entire state of the universe at a certain time equally determines the relative past and the future of the universe. It therefore appears reasonable to situate causation in the higher levels of science where local events are studied in a time-directed manner, such as biology and economy. The workshop aim to assess these lines of argument and clarify their relations to one another. 

All are welcome, but registration is required.

In case of questions or confusion, contact bram.vaassen@umu.se

Abstracts and Schedule can be found in the following folder:


Earlier the same week, Jenann Ismael will be delivering our annual Burman Lectures:


Supporting material

Add supporting material (slides, programs, etc.)




October 23, 2017, 5:00am CET

External Site

Who is attending?

No one has said they will attend yet.

Will you attend this event?

Let us know so we can notify you of any change of plan.

RSVPing on PhilEvents is not sufficient to register for this event.