How Probabilistic Causation Can Account for the Use of Mechanistic Evidence

In a recent article in this journal, Federica Russo and Jon Williamson argue that an analysis of causality in terms of probabilistic relationships does not do justice to the use of mechanistic evidence to support causal claims. I will present Ronald Giere's theory of probabilistic causation, and show that it can account for the use of mechanistic evidence (both in the health sciences—on which Russo and Williamson focus—and elsewhere). I also review some other probabilistic theories of causation (of Suppes, Eells, and Humphreys) and show that they cannot account for the use of mechanistic evidence. I argue that these theories are also inferior to Giere's theory in other respects
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
 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: 9,351
External links
  • Through your library Configure
    References found in this work BETA
    Leen De Vreese (2009). Epidemiology and Causation. Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 12 (3):345-353.

    View all 21 references

    Citations of this work BETA
    Phyllis McKay Illari (2011). Mechanistic Evidence: Disambiguating the Russo–Williamson Thesis. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 25 (2):139 - 157.
    Similar books and articles

    Monthly downloads

    Added to index


    Total downloads

    26 ( #56,466 of 1,088,374 )

    Recent downloads (6 months)

    1 ( #69,449 of 1,088,374 )

    How can I increase my downloads?

    My notes
    Sign in to use this feature

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