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Profile: Michael Baumgartner (Universität Osnabrück)
  1. Michael Baumgartner (forthcoming). Detecting Causal Chains in Small-N Data. Field Methods.
    The first part of this paper shows that Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA)--also in its most recent forms as presented in Ragin (2000, 2008)--, does not correctly analyze data generated by causal chains, which, after all, are very common among causal processes in the social sciences. The incorrect modeling of data originating from chains essentially stems from QCA’s reliance on Quine-McCluskey optimization to eliminate redundancies from sufficient and necessary conditions. Baumgartner (2009a,b) has introduced a Boolean methodology, termed Coincidence Analysis (CNA), that (...)
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  2. Michael Baumgartner (2013). A Regularity Theoretic Approach to Actual Causation. Erkenntnis 78 (1):85-109.
    The majority of the currently flourishing theories of actual (token-level) causation are located in a broadly counterfactual framework that draws on structural equations. In order to account for cases of symmetric overdeterminiation and preemption, these theories resort to rather intricate analytical tools, most of all, to what Hitchcock (J Philos 98:273–299, 2001) has labeled explicitly nonforetracking counterfactuals. This paper introduces a regularity theoretic approach to actual causation that only employs material (non-modal) conditionals, standard Boolean minimization procedures, and a (non-modal) stability (...)
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  3. Michael Baumgartner (2013). Exhibiting Interpretational and Representational Validity. Synthese:1-25.
    A natural language argument may be valid in at least two nonequivalent senses: it may be interpretationally or representationally valid (Etchemendy in The concept of logical consequence. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, 1990). Interpretational and representational validity can both be formally exhibited by classical first-order logic. However, as these two notions of informal validity differ extensionally and first-order logic fixes one determinate extension for the notion of formal validity (or consequence), some arguments must be formalized by unrelated nonequivalent formalizations in order (...)
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  4. Michael Baumgartner (2013). Paul Klee. From Structural Analysis and Morphogenesis to Art. Research in Phenomenology 43 (3):374-393.
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  5. Michael Baumgartner (2013). Rendering Interventionism and Non‐Reductive Physicalism Compatible. Dialectica 67 (1):1-27.
    In recent years, the debate on the problem of causal exclusion has seen an ‘interventionist turn’. Numerous non-reductive physicalists (e.g. Shapiro and Sober 2007) have argued that Woodward's (2003) interventionist theory of causation provides a means to empirically establish the existence of non-reducible mental-to-physical causation. By contrast, Baumgartner (2010) has presented an interventionist exclusion argument showing that interventionism is in fact incompatible with non-reductive physicalism. In response, a number of revised versions of interventionism have been suggested that are compatible with (...)
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  6. Michael Baumgartner & Isabelle Drouet (2013). Identifying Intervention Variables. European Journal for Philosophy of Science 3 (2):183-205.
    The essential precondition of implementing interventionist techniques of causal reasoning is that particular variables are identified as so-called intervention variables. While the pertinent literature standardly brackets the question how this can be accomplished in concrete contexts of causal discovery, the first part of this paper shows that the interventionist nature of variables cannot, in principle, be established based only on an interventionist notion of causation. The second part then demonstrates that standard observational methods that draw on Bayesian networks identify intervention (...)
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  7. Michael Baumgartner & Luke Glynn (2013). Introduction to Special Issue on 'Actual Causation'. Erkenntnis 78 (1):1-8.
  8. Michael Baumgartner (2012). The Logical Form of Interventionism. Philosophia 40 (4):751-761.
    This paper argues that, notwithstanding the remarkable popularity of Woodward's (2003) interventionist analysis of causation, the exact definitional details of that theory are surprisingly little understood. There exists a discrepancy in the literature between the clarity about the logical details of interventionism, on the one hand, and the enormous work interventionism is expected to do, on the other. The first part of the paper distinguishes three significantly different readings of the logical form of Woodward's (2003) interventionist theory and identifies the (...)
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  9. Urs Hofmann & Michael Baumgartner (2011). Determinism and the Method of Difference. Theoria: Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia 26 (2):155-176.
    The first part of this paper reveals a conflict between the core principles of deterministic causation and the standard method of difference, which is widely seen (and used) as a correct method of causally analyzing deterministic structures. We show that applying the method of difference to deterministic structures can giverise to causal inferences that contradict the principles of deterministic causation. The second part then locates the source of this conflict in an inference rule implemented in the method of difference according (...)
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  10. Michael Baumgartner (2010). Measuring and Governing, Review of "The Law-Governed Universe" by John T. Roberts. [REVIEW] Metascience 19 (3):409-412.
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  11. Michael Baumgartner (2010). Informal Reasoning and Logical Formalization. In S. Conrad & S. Imhof (eds.), Ding und Begriff. Ontos.
    According to a prevalent view among philosophers formal logic is the philosopher’s main tool to assess the validity of arguments, i.e. the philosopher’s ars iudicandi. By drawing on a famous dispute between Russell and Strawson over the validity of a certain kind of argument – of arguments whose premises feature definite descriptions – this paper casts doubt on the accuracy of the ars iudicandi conception. Rather than settling the question whether the contentious arguments are valid or not, Russell and Strawson, (...)
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  12. Michael Baumgartner (2010). Measuring and Governing. Metascience 19 (3):409-412.
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  13. Michael Baumgartner (2010). Shallow Analysis and the Slingshot Argument. Journal of Philosophical Logic 39 (5):531-556.
    According to the standard opinions in the literature, blocking the unacceptable consequences of the notorious slingshot argument requires imposing constraints on the metaphysics of facts or on theories of definite descriptions (or class abstracts). This paper argues that both of these well-known strategies to rebut the slingshot overshoot the mark. The slingshot, first and foremost, raises the question as to the adequate logical formalization of statements about facts, i.e. of factual contexts. It will be shown that a rigorous application of (...)
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  14. Michael Baumgartner (2010). Causal Slingshots. Erkenntnis 72 (1):111-133.
    Causal slingshots are formal arguments advanced by proponents of an event ontology of token-level causation which, in the end, are intended to show two things: (i) The logical form of statements expressing causal dependencies on token level features a binary predicate ‘‘... causes ...’’ and (ii) that predicate takes events as arguments. Even though formalisms are only revealing with respect to the logical form of natural language statements, if the latter are shown to be adequately captured within a corresponding formalism, (...)
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  15. Michael Baumgartner (2010). Interventionism and Epiphenomenalism. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 40 (3):359-383.
    In a recent paper, Shapiro and Sober (2007) defend two claims with respect to the master argument for epiphenomenalism, which is designed to rebut non-reductive physicalism: (i) relative to an interventionist account of causation, as most elaborately presented in (Woodward 2003), the master argument turns out to be invalid; and (ii) interventionism provides a means to experimentally uncover micro effects of macro causes. The first part of this paper takes issue with both of these claims by showing that Woodward’s interventionism (...)
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  16. Timm Lammpert & Michael Baumgartner (2010). The Problem of Validity Proofs. Grazer Philosophische Studien 80 (1):79-109.
  17. Michael Baumgartner (2009). Interdefining Causation and Intervention. Dialectica 63 (2):175-194.
    Non-reductive interventionist theories of causation and methodologies of causal reasoning embedded in that theoretical framework have become increasingly popular in recent years. This paper argues that one variant of an interventionist account of causation, viz. the one presented, for example, in Woodward (2003 ), is unsuited as a theoretical fundament of interventionist methodologies of causal reasoning, because it renders corresponding methodologies incapable of uncovering a causal structure in a finite number of steps. This finding runs counter to Woodward's own assessment (...)
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  18. Michael Baumgartner (2009). Inferring Causal Complexity. Sociological Methods & Research 38:71-101.
    In "The Comparative Method" Ragin (1987) has outlined a procedure of Boolean causal reasoning operating on pure coincidence data that has meanwhile become widely known as QCA (Qualitative Comparative Analysis) among social scientists. QCA -- also in its recent form as presented in Ragin (2000) -- is designed to analyze causal structures featuring one effect and a possibly complex configuration of mutually independent direct causes of that effect. The paper at hand presents a procedure of causal reasoning that operates on (...)
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  19. Michael Baumgartner (2009). Interventionist Causal Exclusion and Non-Reductive Physicalism. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 23 (2):161-178.
    The first part of this paper presents an argument showing that the currently most highly acclaimed interventionist theory of causation, i.e. the one advanced by Woodward, excludes supervening macro properties from having a causal influence on effects of their micro supervenience bases. Moreover, this interventionist exclusion argument is demonstrated to rest on weaker premises than classical exclusion arguments. The second part then discusses a weakening of interventionism that Woodward suggests. This weakened version of interventionism turns out either to be inapplicable (...)
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  20. Michael Baumgartner (2009). Uncovering Deterministic Causal Structures: A Boolean Approach. Synthese 170 (1):71 - 96.
    While standard procedures of causal reasoning as procedures analyzing causal Bayesian networks are custom-built for (non-deterministic) probabilistic structures, this paper introduces a Boolean procedure that uncovers deterministic causal structures. Contrary to existing Boolean methodologies, the procedure advanced here successfully analyzes structures of arbitrary complexity. It roughly involves three parts: first, deterministic dependencies are identified in the data; second, these dependencies are suitably minimalized in order to eliminate redundancies; and third, one or—in case of ambiguities—more than one causal structure is assigned (...)
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  21. Michael Baumgartner (2008). Regularity Theories Reassessed. Philosophia 36 (3):327-354.
    For a long time, regularity accounts of causation have virtually vanished from the scene. Problems encountered within other theoretical frameworks have recently induced authors working on causation, laws of nature, or methodologies of causal reasoning – as e.g. May (Kausales Schliessen. Eine Untersuchung über kausale Erklärungen und Theorienbildung. Ph.D. thesis, Universität Hamburg, Hamburg, 1999), Ragin (Fuzzy-set social science. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000), Graßhoff and May (Causal regularities. In W. Spohn, M. Ledwig, & M. Esfeld (Eds.), Current issues in (...)
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  22. Michael Baumgartner (2008). The Causal Chain Problem. Erkenntnis 69 (2):201 - 226.
    This paper addresses a problem that arises when it comes to inferring deterministic causal chains from pertinent empirical data. It will be shown that to every deterministic chain there exists an empirically equivalent common cause structure. Thus, our overall conviction that deterministic chains are one of the most ubiquitous (macroscopic) causal structures is underdetermined by empirical data. It will be argued that even though the chain and its associated common cause model are empirically equivalent there exists an important asymmetry between (...)
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  23. Michael Baumgartner & Timm Lampert (2008). Adequate Formalization. Synthese 164 (1):93-115.
    This article identifies problems with regard to providing criteria that regulate the matching of logical formulae and natural language. We then take on to solve these problems by defining a necessary and sufficient criterion of adequate formalization. On the basis of this criterion we argue that logic should not be seen as an ars iudicandi capable of evaluating the validity or invalidity of informal arguments, but as an ars explicandi that renders transparent the formal structure of informal reasoning.
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  24. Michael Baumgartner & Timm Lampert (2004). Georg Brun, Die Richtige Formel, Philosophische Probleme der Logischen Formalisierung. Erkenntnis 60 (3):417-421.