Can We Reduce Causal Direction to Probabilities?

This paper defends the view that the asymmetry of causation can be explained in terms of probabilistic relationships between event types. Papineau first explores three different versions of the "fork asymmetry", namely David Lewis' asymmetry of overdetermination, the screening-off property of common causes, and Spirtes', Glymour's and Scheines' analysis of probabilistic graphs. He then argues that this fork asymmetry is both a genuine phenomenon and a satisfactory metaphysical reduction of causal asymmetry. In his final section he shows how this reduction can account for the relevance of causal direction to human agency, and in particular for the fact that we can manipulate causes to influence their effects, but not vice versa
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