Some problems of causal interpretation of statistical relationships

Philosophy of Science 27 (1):23-38 (1960)
In following paper an attempt will be made to analyse the statistical relationships between variables as the functions of causal relations existing between them. Our basic assumption here is that statistical relationships between traits, events, or characteristics of objects, may be logically derived from the pattern of their mutual causal connections, if this pattern is described by appropriate concepts and with sufficient precision. The first part of the paper presents basic concepts, which according to author's view may serve for the description of different patterns of causal relations in such a way, that statistical relationships corresponding to each pattern may be derived. It gives also examples of such a derivation for some less complicated cases. The second part of the paper is an attempt of application of proposed method to the understanding and critical consideration of some standard techniques of statistical analysis, especially those mostly used in social sciences
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DOI 10.1086/287710
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Andrew Ward (2007). The Social Epidemiologic Concept of Fundamental Cause. Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 28 (6):465-485.

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