Time and place: Nov. 13, 2018 10:15 AM – 12:00 PMGM 652

Abstract: It is a familiar idea that some contributions to an outcome seem to be difference-making whereas others may not. The distinction has been put to theoretical uses especially in the debate on causation, and it has typically been explicated in terms of counterfactuals. In it simplest form, the idea is that an event c made a difference to an event e just in case if c hadn’t occurred, then e wouldn’t have occurred. The relevance counterfactuals are in turn usually given an interpretation in terms of possible worlds, namely as concerning what happens in the nearest alternative possible worlds where the putative difference-maker does not exist. The talk will explore some natural ways to understand the idea of difference-making in terms of possible (or indeed impossible) truthmakers, and discuss both what distinctive benefits such an approach may offer, and what distinctive challenges it may face.