David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jonathan Jenkins Ichikawa
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (2008)
Manipulablity theories of causation, according to which causes are to be regarded as handles or devices for manipulating effects, have considerable intuitive appeal and are popular among social scientists and statisticians. This article surveys several prominent versions of such theories advocated by philosophers, and the many difficulties they face. Philosophical statements of the manipulationist approach are generally reductionist in aspiration and assign a central role to human action. These contrast with recent discussions employing a broadly manipulationist framework for understanding causation, such as those due to the computer scientist Judea Pearl and others, which are non-reductionist and rely instead on the notion of an intervention. This is simply an appropriately exogenous causal process; it has no essential connection with human action. This interventionist framework manages to avoid at least some of these difficulties faced by traditional philosophical versions of the manipulability theory and helps to clarify the content of causal claims
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Kevin McCain (2012). The Interventionist Account of Causation and the Basing Relation. Philosophical Studies 159 (3):357-382.
Panu Raatikainen (2010). Causation, Exclusion, and the Special Sciences. Erkenntnis 73 (3):349-363.
Jenann Ismael (2016). How Do Causes Depend on Us? The Many Faces of Perspectivalism. Synthese 193 (1):245-267.
Olimpia Lombardi, Federico Holik & Leonardo Vanni (forthcoming). What is Shannon Information? Synthese:1-30.
Stefan Dragulinescu (2010). Diseases as Natural Kinds. Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 31 (5):347-369.
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