Comment on Hausman & Woodward on the causal Markov condition

Woodward present an argument for the Causal Markov Condition (CMC) on the basis of a principle they dub ‘modularity’ ([1999, 2004]). I show that the conclusion of their argument is not in fact the CMC but a substantially weaker proposition. In addition, I show that their argument is invalid and trace this invalidity to two features of modularity, namely, that it is stated in terms of pairwise independence and ‘arrow-breaking’ interventions. Hausman & Woodward's argument can be rendered valid through a reformulation of modularity, but it is doubtful that the argument so revised provides any substantially new insight regarding the basis of the CMC. Introduction The CMC versus Hausman & Woodward's conclusion Hausman & Woodward's argument Modularity and independent error terms Conclusion Appendix: D-separation.
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DOI 10.1093/bjps/axi154
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Daniel Steel (2005). Indeterminism and the Causal Markov Condition. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 56 (1):3-26.
DM Hausman & J. Woodward (1999). Independence, Invariance and the Causal Markov Condition. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 50 (4):521-583.

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