An Epistemology of Causal Inference from Experiment

Philosophy of Science 80 (5):660-671 (2014)
Abstract
The manipulationist account of causation provides a framework for assessing causal claims and the experiments used to test them. But its pertinence to the more general class of scientific experiments—particularly those experiments not explicitly designed for testing causal claims—is less clear. I aim to show (1) that the set of causal inferences afforded by any experiment is determined solely on the basis of contrasting case structures that I call “experimental series” and (2) that the conditions that suffice for causal inference obtain quite commonly, even among “ordinary” scientific experiments not explicitly designed for the testing of causal claims
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