Cause by Omission and Norm: Not Watering Plants

Paul Henne, Nestor Pinillos, Felipe De Brigard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


People generally accept that there is causation by omission—that the omission of some events cause some related events. But this acceptance elicits the selection problem, or the difficulty of explaining the selection of a particular omissive cause or class of causes from the causal conditions. Some theorists contend that dependence theories of causation cannot resolve this problem. In this paper, we argue that the appeal to norms adequately resolves the selection problem for dependence theories, and we provide novel experimental evidence for it.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)270-283
Number of pages14
JournalAustralasian Journal of Philosophy
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 3 2017


  • causation
  • counterfactual dependence
  • omission
  • process theories, norm

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy


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