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Profile: Alexander Gebharter (Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf)
  1.  14
    Alexander Gebharter & Gerhard Schurz (forthcoming). A Modeling Approach for Mechanisms Featuring Causal Cycles. Philosophy of Science.
    Mechanisms play an important role in many sciences when it comes to questions concerning explanation, prediction, and control. Answering such questions in a quantitative way requires a formal represention of mechanisms. Gebharter (2014) suggests to represent mechanisms by means of one or more causal arrows of an acyclic causal net. In this paper we show how this approach can be extended in such a way that it can also be fruitfully applied to mechanisms featuring causal feedback.
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  2.  28
    Gerhard Schurz & Alexander Gebharter (2016). Causality as a Theoretical Concept: Explanatory Warrant and Empirical Content of the Theory of Causal Nets. Synthese 193 (4):1073-1103.
    We start this paper by arguing that causality should, in analogy with force in Newtonian physics, be understood as a theoretical concept that is not explicated by a single definition, but by the axioms of a theory. Such an understanding of causality implicitly underlies the well-known theory of causal nets and has been explicitly promoted by Glymour. In this paper we investigate the explanatory warrant and empirical content of TCN. We sketch how the assumption of directed cause–effect relations can be (...)
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  3.  34
    Alexander Gebharter (2015). Causal Exclusion and Causal Bayes Nets. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    In this paper I reconstruct and evaluate the validity of two versions of causal exclusion arguments within the theory of causal Bayes nets. I argue that supervenience relations formally behave like causal relations. If this is correct, then it turns out that both versions of the exclusion argument are valid when assuming the causal Markov condition and the causal minimality condition. I also investigate some consequences for the recent discussion of causal exclusion arguments in the light of an interventionist theory (...)
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  4.  8
    Alexander Gebharter & Gerhard Schurz (2016). Introduction to the Special Issue “Causation, Probability, and Truth—the Philosophy of Clark Glymour”. Synthese 193 (4):1007-1010.
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  5.  8
    Gerhard Schurz & Alexander Gebharter (2016). Erratum To: Causality as a Theoretical Concept: Explanatory Warrant and Empirical Content of the Theory of Causal Nets. Synthese 193 (4):1105-1106.
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  6.  5
    Alexander Gebharter, Another Problem with RBN Models of Mechanisms.
    Casini, Illari, Russo, and Williamson suggest to model mechanisms by means of recursive Bayesian networks and Clarke, Leuridan, and Williamson extend their modelling approach to mechanisms featuring causal feedback. One of the main selling points of the RBN approach should be that it provides answers to questions concerning manipulation and control. In this paper I demonstrate that the method to compute the effects of interventions the authors mentioned endorse leads to absurd results under the additional assumption of faithfulness, which can (...)
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  7.  29
    Alexander Gebharter & Gerhard Schurz (2014). How Occam's Razor Provides a Neat Definition of Direct Causation. In J. M. Mooij, D. Janzing, J. Peters, T. Claassen & A. Hyttinen (eds.), Proceedings of the UAI Workshop Causal Inference: Learning and Prediction. CEUR-WS 1-10.
    In this paper we show that the application of Occam’s razor to the theory of causal Bayes nets gives us a neat definition of direct causation. In particular we show that Occam’s razor implies Woodward’s (2003) definition of direct causation, provided suitable intervention variables exist and the causal Markov condition (CMC) is satisfied. We also show how Occam’s razor can account for direct causal relationships Woodward style when only stochastic intervention variables are available.
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  8.  4
    Alexander Gebharter (2016). Another Problem with RBN Models of Mechanisms. Theoria. An International Journal for Theory, History and Foundations of Science 31 (2):177-188.
    Casini, Illari, Russo, and Williamson (2011) suggest to model mechanisms by means of recursive Bayesian networks (RBNs) and Clarke, Leuridan, and Williamson (2014) extend their modelling approach to mechanisms featuring causal feedback. One of the main selling points of the RBN approach should be that it provides answers to questions concerning manipulation and control. In this paper I demonstrate that the method to compute the effects of interventions the authors mentioned endorse leads to absurd results under the additional assumption of (...)
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  9. Alexander Gebharter & Alexander Mirnig (2010). From a Mereotopological Point of View. Kriterion: Journal of Philosophy 23 (1):78-90.
    In his Critique of Pure Reason Immanuel Kant presents four antinomies. In his attempt to solve the first of these antinomies he examines and analyzes thesis and antithesis more thoroughly and employs the terms `part', `whole' and `boundary' in his argumentation for their validity. According to Kant, the whole problem surrounding the antinomy was caused by applying the concept of the world to nature and then using both terms interchangeably. While interesting, this solution is still not that much more than (...)
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  10.  55
    Michael Baumgartner & Alexander Gebharter (2015). Constitutive Relevance, Mutual Manipulability, and Fat-Handedness. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    The first part of this paper argues that if Craver’s ([2007a], [2007b]) popular mutual manipulability account (MM) of mechanistic constitution is embedded within Woodward’s ([2003]) interventionist theory of causation--for which it is explicitly designed--it either undermines the mechanistic research paradigm by entailing that there do not exist relationships of constitutive relevance or it gives rise to the unwanted consequence that constitution is a form of causation. The second part shows how Woodward’s theory can be adapted in such a way that (...)
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  11.  32
    Alexander Gebharter, Addendum to "A Formal Framework for Representing Mechanisms?".
    In (Gebharter 2014) I suggested a framework for modeling the hierarchical organization of mechanisms. In this short addendum I want to highlight some connections of my approach to the statistics and machine learning literature and some of its limitations not mentioned in the paper.
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  12.  25
    Alexander Gebharter & Gerhard Schurz (2014). Editors' Introduction. Theoria. An International Journal for Theory, History and Foundations of Science 29 (1):5-7.
  13.  9
    Alexander Gebharter (2015). Erratum To: Solving the Flagpole Problem. Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 46 (2):425-425.
  14.  60
    Alexander Gebharter & Gerhard Schurz (2012). For a Better Understanding of Causality. Metascience 21 (3):643-648.
    For a better understanding of causality Content Type Journal Article Category Essay Review Pages 1-6 DOI 10.1007/s11016-012-9648-3 Authors Alexander Gebharter, Department of Philosophy, Heinrich-Heine-University Düsseldorf, Universitätsstraße 1, 40225 Düsseldorf, Germany Gerhard Schurz, Department of Philosophy, Heinrich-Heine-University Düsseldorf, Universitätsstraße 1, 40225 Düsseldorf, Germany Journal Metascience Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796.
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  15.  30
    Alexander Gebharter (2014). A Formal Framework for Representing Mechanisms? Philosophy of Science 81 (1):138-153.
    In this article I tackle the question of how the hierarchical order of mechanisms can be represented within a causal graph framework. I illustrate an answer to this question proposed by Casini, Illari, Russo, and Williamson and provide an example that their formalism does not support two important features of nested mechanisms: (i) a mechanism’s submechanisms are typically causally interacting with other parts of said mechanism, and (ii) intervening in some of a mechanism’s parts should have some influence on the (...)
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  16.  20
    Matthias Unterhuber, Alexander Gebharter & Gerhard Schurz (2014). Philosophy of Science in Germany, 1992–2012: Survey-Based Overview and Quantitative Analysis. Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 45 (1):71-160.
    An overview of the German philosophy of science community is given for the years 1992–2012, based on a survey in which 159 philosophers of science in Germany participated. To this end, the institutional background of the German philosophy of science community is examined in terms of journals, centers, and associations. Furthermore, a qualitative description and a quantitative analysis of our survey results are presented. Quantitative estimates are given for: (a) academic positions, (b) research foci, (c) philosophers’ of science most important (...)
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  17.  26
    Alexander Gebharter & Marie I. Kaiser (2014). Causal Graphs and Biological Mechanisms. In Marie I. Kaiser, Oliver Scholz, Daniel Plenge & Andreas Hüttemann (eds.), Explanation in the special sciences: The case of biology and history. Springer 55-85.
    Modeling mechanisms is central to the biological sciences – for purposes of explanation, prediction, extrapolation, and manipulation. A closer look at the philosophical literature reveals that mechanisms are predominantly modeled in a purely qualitative way. That is, mechanistic models are conceived of as representing how certain entities and activities are spatially and temporally organized so that they bring about the behavior of the mechanism in question. Although this adequately characterizes how mechanisms are represented in biology textbooks, contemporary biological research practice (...)
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  18.  13
    Albert Anglberger, Christian Feldbacher, Alexander Gebharter & Stefan Gugerell (2012). Conference Report: Salzburg Conference for Young Analytic Philosophy 2011. Kriterion: Journal of Philosophy 26 (1):104--109.
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  19.  33
    Alexander Gebharter (2013). Solving the Flagpole Problem. Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 44 (1):63-67.
    In this paper I demonstrate that the causal structure of flagpole-like systems can be determined by application of causal graph theory. Additional information about the ordering of events in time or about how parameters of the systems of interest can be manipulated is not needed.
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  20.  16
    Alexander Gebharter & Alexander Mirnig (2010). Disjunctivism: An Answer to Two Pseudo Problems? Conceptus: Zeitschrift Fur Philosophie 39 (95):61-84.
    Ever since it was discovered that hallucinations and illusions are not all that compatible with our natural view of the relation between the perceiving subject and the perceived object, according to which we always perceive the object itself (or, as most epistemologists prefer to say, we perceive it directly), the philosophical position of Direct (or Naïve) Realism which is meant to be the epistemological equivalent of this view, has begun to falter. To express these problems more explicitly, the argument from (...)
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