Essay: Trumping Preemption

Sample Essay

In another example, Schaffer’s (2000b) cases of trumping preemption[1]: that state that a given law of magic stipulate that the first spell cast on a given day, match the enchantment that midnight. Suppose at noon x is cast as first of he day to turn the king into a frog, then in the evening y cast as second which is the only other that day to turn the king into a frog.

At midnight the king turns into a frog.  In this case the preemption implying an appeal to the intermediate chain of events does not help. Since there is no intermediate event between x’s spell and the enchantment the spell acts directly.  In this case, the cases in this causal law does not determine the causal for the event, since the magic law applied does not indicate that the first spell causes, instead it states that it matches. Such cases appeals to preemption are great deal of defense of Anti-Reductionism. Therefore in this view, causation does not supervene on the non-causal facts[2].

[1] Schaffer, J.  ‘Overlappings: Probability-raising without Causation’. Australasian

                    Journal of Philosophy, vol. 78 (2000a): p.44

[2] Woodward, J. ‘Laws and Causes’. The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, Vol. 41(1990a): 559

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