Probabilistic causality reexamined

Erkenntnis 36 (2):219 - 244 (1992)
Abstract
According to Nancy Cartwright, a causal law holds just when a certain probabilistic condition obtains in all test situations which in turn satisfy a set of background conditions. These background conditions are shown to be inconsistent and, on separate account, logically incoherent. I offer a corrective reformulation which also incorporates a strategy for problems like Hesslow's thrombosis case. I also show that Cartwright's recent argument for modifying the condition to appeal to singular causes fails.Proposed modifications of the theory's probabilistic condition to handle effects with extreme probabilities (0 or 1) are found unsatisfactory. I propose a unified solution which also handles extreme causes. Undefined conditional probabilities give rise to three good, but non-equivalent, ways of formulating the theory. Various formulations appear in the literature. I give arguments to eliminate all but one candidate. Finally, I argue for a crucial new condition clause, and show how to extend the results beyond a simple probabilistic framework.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 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: 11,018
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

No references found.

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Similar books and articles
Joseph F. Hanna (1982). Probabilistic Explanation and Probabilistic Causality. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1982:181 - 193.
William Roche (2012). A Weaker Condition for Transitivity in Probabilistic Support. European Journal for Philosophy of Science 2 (1):111-118.
Jon Williamson (2009). Probabilistic Theories of Causality. In Helen Beebee, Peter Menzies & Christopher Hitchcock (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Causation. Oxford University Press. 185--212.
Huw Price (1991). Agency and Probabilistic Causality. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 42 (2):157-176.
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2009-01-28

Total downloads

10 ( #146,165 of 1,101,073 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

3 ( #116,144 of 1,101,073 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


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