Spinoza '96

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Causes and Explanations: A Structural-Model Approach

Joseph Halpern (Cornell University)

We propose new definitions of actual cause (causal) explanation, using structural equations to model counterfactuals. We show that these definitions yield a plausible and elegant account of causation and explanation that handles well examples which have caused problems for other definitions and resolves major difficulties in the traditional account. This is joint wrk with Judea Pearl.