Causation is central to all our lives. What we see and hear causes us to have the beliefs in the world we need to tell us how to act - to cause us to survive and get what we want. We cannot understand the world and our place in it without understanding causation. Philosophers also need to understand it because they invoke it in theories of mind and language, of knowledge, explanation, decision-making and action. Causation's links with these and other hard topics - laws of nature, the mind-body relation, determinism, change and time - make it difficult to account for, especially given the indeterminism of modern physics and genetics. While progress has been made, a complete account of the nature and implications of causation is long overdue. D.H. Mellor's new book is that account. It covers all kinds of causing and affecting, of both events and facts: deterministic and interdeterministic, mental and physical, transparent and opaque. It shows what makes a cause explain, be evidence for and means to its effects and why it entails the laws of nature that determine the kinds of facts our world contains.
It shows how causation distinguishes time from space, makes it linear, gives it direction and enables us to perceive it. It is a major study by one of the world's leading metaphysicians, and will change our views not only of causation but also of chance, laws, time and the basic constituents of nature.