Organon F

Volume 26, May 2019, Issue 2, Pages 287–297

ISSN 2585-7150 (online) ISSN 1335-0668 (print)

Research Article

Casting a Shadow on Lewis’s Theory of Causation

Erdinç Sayan


First I present a puzzle involving two opaque objects and a shadow cast on the ground. After I offer a solution to this puzzle by identifying which of the objects is causally responsible for the shadow, I argue that this case poses a counterexample to David Lewis’s latest counterfactual account of causation, known as his influence theory. Along the way, I discuss preemption, overdetermination, absence causation, and trumping preemption.


Absence causation; counterfactual theory of causation; influence theory of causation; overdetermination; preemptive prevention; trumping pre-emption.

Author(s) and affiliation(s)


Erdinç Sayan


Middle East Technical University


Philosophy Department, Middle East Technical University, Dumlupinar Bulvari, 1, 06800 Ankara, Turkey


About this article


2 October 2018


20 November 2018

Published online

14 March 2019


Institute of Philosophy of the Slovak Academy of Sciences

Institute of Philosophy of the Czech Academy of Sciences

Cite as


Sayan, E. (2019). Casting a Shadow on Lewis’s Theory of Causation. Organon F, 26(2), 287–297.


Sayan, Erdinç. 2019. "Casting a Shadow on Lewis’s Theory of Causation." Organon F 26 (2): 287–297.


Sayan, E. (2019). Casting a Shadow on Lewis’s Theory of Causation. Organon F, 26(2), pp. 287–297.

Copyright information

© Erdinç Sayan

Response page

The above URL is linked with the article's response page. The response page is a permanent location that is associated with the article's DOI number.

This article is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International Public License (CC BY-NC 4.0).


Institute of Philosophy
Slovak Academy of Sciences
Klemensova 19
813 64 Bratislava
Slovak Republic
(+421 2) 5292 1215
FAX (+421 2) 5292 1215

Organon F takes part on the long-term preservation of the digital cultural heritage carried out by the University Library in Bratislava.