Causality, propensity, and bayesian networks

Synthese 132 (1-2):63 - 88 (2002)
This paper investigates the relations between causality and propensity. Aparticular version of the propensity theory of probability is introduced, and it is argued that propensities in this sense are not causes. Some conclusions regarding propensities can, however, be inferred from causal statements, but these hold only under restrictive conditions which prevent cause being defined in terms of propensity. The notion of a Bayesian propensity network is introduced, and the relations between such networks and causal networks is investigated. It is argued that causal networks cannot be identified with Bayesian propensity networks, but that causal networks can be a valuable heuristic guide for the construction of Bayesian propensity networks.
Keywords Philosophy   Philosophy   Epistemology   Logic   Metaphysics   Philosophy of Language
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DOI 10.1023/A:1019618817314
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