The causal chain problem

Erkenntnis 69 (2):201 - 226 (2008)
This paper addresses a problem that arises when it comes to inferring deterministic causal chains from pertinent empirical data. It will be shown that to every deterministic chain there exists an empirically equivalent common cause structure. Thus, our overall conviction that deterministic chains are one of the most ubiquitous (macroscopic) causal structures is underdetermined by empirical data. It will be argued that even though the chain and its associated common cause model are empirically equivalent there exists an important asymmetry between the two models with respect to model expansions. This asymmetry might constitute a basis on which to disambiguate corresponding causal inferences on non-empirical grounds.
Keywords Causation  Causal reasoning  Determinism  Causal chains
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.2307/40267385
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 16,667
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
Phil Dowe (2000). Physical Causation. Cambridge University Press.
Peter Spirtes, Clark Glymour & Richard Scheines (1996). Causation, Prediction, and Search. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 47 (1):113-123.

View all 21 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

49 ( #70,032 of 1,726,249 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

3 ( #211,519 of 1,726,249 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.