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Volume 51 • Number 2

April 2014



Is There a Problem with the Causal Criterion of Event Identity?

by Rafael De Clercq

The issue of event identity may be interesting in itself, but it also bears on more specific, and perhaps more central, issues in philosophy such as the issue of whether mental events are identical to physical events. The question of how the identity of events is to be decided is therefore an important one. In this paper, we will focus on one possible answer to this question, namely the causal criterion of event identity put forward by Donald Davidson (1969). According to this criterion, events are the same if and only if they have the same causes and effects. In other words, (Causal criterion) Event x = event y if and only if, for all z, x causes z if and only if y causes z, and z causes x if and only if z causes y.

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ISSN: 2152-1123