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Profile: Christopher Hitchcock (California Institute of Technology)
  1. Christopher R. Hitchcock (ed.) (2003). Contemporary Debates in the Philosophy of Science. Blackwell.
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  2. Christopher Read Hitchcock (1997). Discussion: Screening-Off and Visibility to Selection. [REVIEW] Biology and Philosophy 12 (4):521-529.
    Philosophers have used the probabilistic relation of ’screening-off‘ to explicate concepts in the theories of causation and explanation. Brandon has used screening-off relations in an attempt to reconstruct an argument of Mayr and Gould that natural selection acts at the level of the organism. I argue that Brandon‘s reconstruction is unsuccessful.
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  3. Christopher Read Hitchcock (1996). Causal Decision Theory and Decision-Theoretic Causation. Noûs 30 (4):508-526.
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  4. Christopher Read Hitchcock (1996). Farewell to Binary Causation. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 26 (2):267 - 282.
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  5. Christopher Read Hitchcock (1996). The Mechanist and the Snail. Philosophical Studies 84 (1):91 - 105.
    Introduction: One of the most influential theories of scientific explanation to have emerged in the past two decades is Salmon's causal/mechanical theory (Salmon 1984). According to this account, scientific explanations describe a network of causal processes and interactions. In this paper, I will use an example from evolutionary biology to argue that the causal nexus, as characterized by Salmon, is not rich enough to account for many causal explanations in the sciences.
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  6. Christopher Read Hitchcock (1996). The Role of Contrast in Causal and Explanatory Claims. Synthese 107 (3):395 - 419.
    Following Dretske (1977), there has been a considerable body of literature on the role of contrastive stress in causal claims. Following van Fraassen (1980), there has been a considerable body of literature on the role of contrastive stress in explanations and explanation-requesting why-questions. Amazingly, the two bodies of literature have remained almost entirely disjoint. With an understanding of the contrastive nature of ordinary causal claims, and of the linguistic roles of contrastive stress, it is possible to provide a unified account (...)
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  7. Christopher Read Hitchcock (1995). Permutation or Tranlation. Southwest Philosophy Review 11 (2):187-205.
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  8. Christopher Read Hitchcock (1995). Salmon on Explanatory Relevance. Philosophy of Science 62 (2):304-320.
    One of the motivations for Salmon's (1984) causal theory of explanation was the explanatory irrelevance exhibited by many arguments conforming to Hempel's covering-law models of explanation. However, the nexus of causal processes and interactions characterized by Salmon is not rich enough to supply the necessary conception of explanatory relevance. Salmon's (1994) revised theory, which is briefly criticized on independent grounds, fares no better. There is some possibility that the two-tiered structure of explanation described by Salmon (1984) may be pressed into (...)
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  9. Christopher Read Hitchcock (1995). The Mishap at Reichenbach Fall: Singular Vs. General Causation. Philosophical Studies 78 (3):257 - 291.
  10. Christopher Read Hitchcock (1995). Wittgenstein on Private Language: Exorcising the Ghost From the Machine. Philosophia 24 (3-4):127-147.
  11. Mitchell S. Green & Christopher R. Hitchcock (1994). Reflections on Reflection: Van Fraassen on Belief. Synthese 98 (2):297 - 324.
    In Belief and the Will, van Fraassen employed a diachronic Dutch Book argument to support a counterintuitive principle called Reflection. There and subsequently van Fraassen has put forth Reflection as a linchpin for his views in epistemology and the philosophy of science, and for the voluntarism (first-person reports of subjective probability are undertakings of commitments) that he espouses as an alternative to descriptivism (first-person reports of subjective probability are merely self-descriptions). Christensen and others have attacked Reflection, taking it to have (...)
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  12. Christopher Read Hitchcock (1993). A Generalized Probabilistic Theory of Causal Relevance. Synthese 97 (3):335 - 364.
    I advance a new theory of causal relevance, according to which causal claims convey information about conditional probability functions. This theory is motivated by the problem of disjunctive factors, which haunts existing probabilistic theories of causation. After some introductory remarks, I present in Section 3 a sketch of Eells's (1991) probabilistic theory of causation, which provides the framework for much of the discussion. Section 4 explains how the problem of disjunctive factors arises within this framework. After rejecting three proposed solutions, (...)
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  13. Christopher R. Hitchcock (1992). Discussion. Journal of Philosophical Research 17:215-223.
    Gerald Massey has constructed translation manuals for the purposes of illustrating Quine’s Indeterminacy Thesis. Robert Kirk has argued that Massey’s manuals do not live up to their billing. In this note, I will present Massey’s manuals and defend them against Kirk’s objections. The implications for Quine’s Indeterminacy Thesis will then be briefly discussed.
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  14. Christopher Read Hitchcock (1992). Causal Explanation and Scientific Realism. Erkenntnis 37 (2):151 - 178.
    It is widely believed that many of the competing accounts of scientific explanation have ramifications which are relevant to the scientific realism debate. I claim that the two issues are orthogonal. For definiteness, I consider Cartwright's argument that causal explanations secure belief in theoretical entities. In Section I, van Fraassen's anti-realism is reviewed; I argue that this anti-realism is, prima facie, consistent with a causal account of explanation. Section II reviews Cartwright's arguments. In Section III, it is argued that causal (...)
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