My theory is that most people – even most philosophers – in fact hold a productive, powers-based conception of causation. Most people, that is (to switch from causation to causes), assume that causes actually bring about effects (when they do bring them about). I think that people hold this view so deeply, and so intuitively, that when they are faced with an alternative definition (Hume’s, say), according to which that is not what causation is at all, they imagine that the anti-powers account is just a different way of talking about the same phenomenon, i.e., a different way of conceptualizing genuinely productive causation.
This maneuver (not available to those historical figures who were engaged in robust ontological debate with Aristotelians about the nature of the world) makes it be that one can pronounce oneself a Humean – of one contemporary stripe or another – without actually having to give up the phenomenon of productive causation.
But it’s bogus. If you reject a powers-based definition of causation, you reject productive causation. That’s just what it is to reject a powers-based definition of causation.