Get A Theory of Causation in the Social and Biological Sciences PDF

By A. Reutlinger

ISBN-10: 1137281049

ISBN-13: 9781137281043

ISBN-10: 1349447994

ISBN-13: 9781349447992

This primary complete size therapy of interventionist theories of causation within the social sciences, the organic sciences and different higher-level sciences the provides unique counter arguments to contemporary traits within the debate and serves as worthwhile advent to the topic.

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Extra resources for A Theory of Causation in the Social and Biological Sciences

Example text

3). In the causal modelling literature, undirected edges represent correlations. 4). A directed edge is the shortest directed path in a graph. Although we are interested in causal graphs, there is no formal reason to interpret directed edges causally. g. g. ‘X is a reason for Y’, ‘X confirms Y’). But, since we are interested in causality, directed edges are meant to represent the causal influence or dependence between the values of variables. 4, connecting X and Y, means ‘X directly causes Y’ or ‘Y directly causally depends on X’.

The Interventionist Theory of Causation 33 Relativity: An intervention on X is always to be understood as an intervention relative to Y, the purported effect (cf. Woodward 2003: 103). An intervention on X relative to Y might not be an intervention on X relative to some variable U (for U ≠ Y), because – although condition (a) for being an intervention variable might be satisfied for some variable I – the conditions (b)–(e) might not be satisfied for the second case (for instance, because other variables than in the case of U have to be held fixed as effect variables in the case of Y).

In fact, according to Woodward’s interventionist theory of causation, the existence of a possible intervention is a necessary and sufficient condition for the application of any causal notion: if X is a direct typelevel cause of Y, then there is a possible intervention on X that changes Y (note that this also holds for other causal notions besides direct type-level causation, such as actual causation). This definition encodes a special sort of counterfactual dependence between effect and cause, which is expressed in terms of the truth of a so-called interventionist counterfactual.

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A Theory of Causation in the Social and Biological Sciences by A. Reutlinger


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