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  1. Note on Simplicity and Statistical Explanations of Correlations.Chrysovalantis Stergiou - manuscript
    In this note, I discuss the simplicity of rival statistical explanations of a correlation, couched in terms of Reichenbachian Common Cause Systems. Simplicity is analyzed in two components, the so-called intrinsic and contextual simplicity. I show that if one disentangles simplicity from explanatory power then the size of the system provides an adequate for simplicity in both of its dimensions.
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  2. Causal Concepts and Temporal Ordering.Reuben Stern - forthcoming - Synthese:1-23.
    Though common sense says that causes must temporally precede their effects, the hugely influential interventionist account of causation makes no reference to temporal precedence. Does common sense lead us astray? In this paper, I evaluate the power of the commonsense assumption from within the interventionist approach to causal modeling. I first argue that if causes temporally precede their effects, then one need not consider the outcomes of interventions in order to infer causal relevance, and that one can instead use temporal (...)
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  3. Path-Specific Effects.Naftali Weinberger - 2019 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 70 (1):53-76.
    A cause may influence its effect via multiple paths. Paradigmatically (Hesslow [1974]), taking birth control pills both decreases one’s risk of thrombosis by preventing pregnancy and increases it by producing a blood chemical. Building on Pearl ([2001]), I explicate the notion of a path-specific effect. Roughly, a path-specific effect of C on E via path P is the degree to which a change in C would change E were they to be transmitted only via P. Facts about such effects may (...)
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  4. An Inchoate Universe: James's Probabilistic Underdeterminism.Kyle Bromhall - 2018 - William James Studies 14 (1):54-83.
    In this paper, I challenge the traditional narrative that William James’s arguments against determinism were primarily motivated by his personal struggles with depression. I argue that James presents an alternative argument against determinism that is motivated by his commitment to sound scientific practice. James argues that determinism illegitimately extrapolates from observations of past events to predictions about future events without acknowledging the distinct metaphysical difference between them. This occupation with futurity suggests that James’s true target is better understood as logical (...)
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  5. Causation, Probability, and the Continuity Bind.Anthony F. Peressini - 2018 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 69 (3):881-909.
    Analyses of singular causation often make use of the idea that a cause increases the probability of its effect. Of particular salience in such accounts are the values of the probability function of the effect, conditional on the presence and absence of the putative cause, analysed around the times of the events in question: causes are characterized by the effect’s probability function being greater when conditionalized upon them. Put this way, it becomes clearer that the ‘behaviour’ of probability functions in (...)
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  6. Causal Overdetermination: Still Crazy After All These Years. Part I: What Is at Stake?Tuomas K. Pernu - 2018 - Philosophical Forum 49 (2):231-244.
    Causal overdetermination occupies an uncomfortable place within all the major theories of causation. A natural solution to the problems it gives rise to would be to resolve overdetermination into preemption or joint causation. However, such a solution would seem to lead to individuate events in a fragile manner. The issue of such modal fragility is addressed and it is argued that events designated as effects are always fragile in a natural way and the putative problems of adopting modal fragility can (...)
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  7. Indeterministic Causation and Two Patches for the Pairing Argument.Bradford Saad - 2018 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 99 (4):664-682.
    The pairing argument aims to demonstrate the impossibility of non-spatial objects (including minds) standing in causal relations. Its chief premises are (roughly) that causation requires pairing relations between causes and effects and that pairing relations require spatial relations. Critics have argued that the first claim suffers from counterexamples involving indeterministic causation. After briefly rehearsing the pairing argument and the objection from indeterministic causation, I offer two ways of revising the pairing argument to meet the objection from indeterministic causation.
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  8. Do Reichenbachian Common Cause Systems of Arbitrary Finite Size Exist?Claudio Mazzola & Peter W. Evans - 2017 - Foundations of Physics 47 (12):1543-1558.
    The principle of common cause asserts that positive correlations between causally unrelated events ought to be explained through the action of some shared causal factors. Reichenbachian common cause systems are probabilistic structures aimed at accounting for cases where correlations of the aforesaid sort cannot be explained through the action of a single common cause. The existence of Reichenbachian common cause systems of arbitrary finite size for each pair of non-causally correlated events was allegedly demonstrated by Hofer-Szabó and Rédei in 2006. (...)
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  9. Causation, Probability, and the Continuity Bind.Anthony F. Peressini - 2017 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axw030.
    Analyses of singular (token-level) causation often make use of the idea that a cause increases the probability of its effect. Of particular salience in such accounts are the values of the probability function of the effect, conditional on the presence and absence of the putative cause, analysed around the times of the events in question: causes are characterized by the effect’s probability function being greater when conditionalized upon them. Put this way, it becomes clearer that the ‘behaviour’ (continuity) of probability (...)
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  10. Causal Comparability, Causal Generalizations, and Epistemic Homogeneity.Rosa W. Runhardt - 2017 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 47 (3):183-208.
    The issue of causal comparability in the social sciences underlies matters of both generalization and extrapolation. After critiquing two existing interpretations of comparability, due to Hitchcock and Hausman, I propose a distinction between ontological and epistemic comparability. While the former refers to whether two cases are actually comparable, the latter respects that in cases of incomplete information, we need to rely on whatever evidence we have of comparability. I argue, using a political science case study, that in those cases of (...)
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  11. Causal Contribution.Alex Kaiserman - 2016 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 116 (3):387-394.
    Are there ‘degrees of causation’? Yes and no: causation is not a scalar relation, but different causes can contribute to a causing of an effect to different extents. In this paper, I motivate a probabilistic analysis of an event’s degree of contribution to a causing of an effect and explore some of its consequences.
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  12. Imprecise Probability and Chance.Anthony Peressini - 2016 - Erkenntnis 81 (3):561-586.
    Understanding probabilities as something other than point values has often been motivated by the need to find more realistic models for degree of belief, and in particular the idea that degree of belief should have an objective basis in “statistical knowledge of the world.” I offer here another motivation growing out of efforts to understand how chance evolves as a function of time. If the world is “chancy” in that there are non-trivial, objective, physical probabilities at the macro-level, then the (...)
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  13. Common Cause Abduction: The Formation of Theoretical Concepts and Models in Science.Gerhard Schurz - 2016 - Logic Journal of the IGPL 24 (4).
  14. Causal, A Priori True, and Explanatory: A Reply to Lange and Rosenberg.Mehmet Elgin & Elliott Sober - 2015 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 93 (1):167-171.
    Sober [2011] argues that some causal statements are a priori true and that a priori causal truths are central to explanations in the theory of natural selection. Lange and Rosenberg [2011] criticize Sober's argument. They concede that there are a priori causal truths, but maintain that those truths are only ‘minimally causal’. They also argue that explanations that are built around a priori causal truths are not causal explanations, properly speaking. Here we criticize both of Lange and Rosenberg's claims.
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  15. Common Causes Love to Hide: Gábor Hofer-Szabó, Miklós Rédei and László E. Szabó: The Principle of the Common Cause. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013, Vii+202pp, $99.00 HB. [REVIEW]Chrysovalantis Stergiou - 2015 - Metascience 24 (2):247-251.
    Anything other than paraphrasing the well-known Heraclitean aphorism would not be more appropriate to portray the crux of the contribution of the three philosophers of the Budapest School, Gábor Hofer-Szabó, Miklós Rédei and Lázló E. Szabó, in the ongoing discussion of the principle of the common cause . Indeed, ‘common causes love to hide’ and for that reason critics and aspirant falsifiers of PCC find correlations which, at a first level of analysis, might lack a common cause explanation. But as (...)
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  16. Non-Local Common Cause Explanations for EPR.Matthias Egg & Michael Esfeld - 2014 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 4 (2):181-196.
    The paper argues that a causal explanation of the correlated outcomes of EPR-type experiments is desirable and possible. It shows how Bohmian mechanics and the GRW mass density theory offer such an explanation in terms of a non-local common cause.
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  17. Correlations, Deviations and Expectations: The Extended Principle of the Common Cause.Claudio Mazzola - 2013 - Synthese 190 (14):2853-2866.
    The Principle of the Common Cause is usually understood to provide causal explanations for probabilistic correlations obtaining between causally unrelated events. In this study, an extended interpretation of the principle is proposed, according to which common causes should be invoked to explain positive correlations whose values depart from the ones that one would expect to obtain in accordance to her probabilistic expectations. In addition, a probabilistic model for common causes is tailored which satisfies the generalized version of the principle, at (...)
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  18. Screening-Off and Causal Incompleteness: A No-Go Theorem.Elliott Sober & Mike Steel - 2013 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 64 (3):513-550.
    We begin by considering two principles, each having the form causal completeness ergo screening-off. The first concerns a common cause of two or more effects; the second describes an intermediate link in a causal chain. They are logically independent of each other, each is independent of Reichenbach's principle of the common cause, and each is a consequence of the causal Markov condition. Simple examples show that causal incompleteness means that screening-off may fail to obtain. We derive a stronger result: in (...)
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  19. A Comparison of Three Occam’s Razors for Markovian Causal Models.Jiji Zhang - 2013 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 64 (2):423-448.
    The framework of causal Bayes nets, currently influential in several scientific disciplines, provides a rich formalism to study the connection between causality and probability from an epistemological perspective. This article compares three assumptions in the literature that seem to constrain the connection between causality and probability in the style of Occam's razor. The trio includes two minimality assumptions—one formulated by Spirtes, Glymour, and Scheines (SGS) and the other due to Pearl—and the more well-known faithfulness or stability assumption. In terms of (...)
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  20. Causal Reasoning, Causal Probabilities, and Conceptions of Causation.Isabelle Drouet - 2012 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 43 (4):761-768.
    The present paper deals with the tools that can be used to represent causation and to reason about it and, specifically, with their diversity. It focuses on so-called “causal probabilities”—that is, probabilities of effects given one of their causes—and critically surveys a recent paper in which Joyce argues that the values of these probabilities do not depend on one’s conception of causation. I first establish a stronger independence claim: I show that the very definition of causal probabilities is independent of (...)
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  21. Common Cause Abduction: Its Scope and Limits.Patryk Dziurosz-Serafinowicz - 2012 - Filozofia Nauki 20 (4).
    This article aims to analyze the scope and limits of common cause abduction which is a version of explanatory abduction based on Hans Reichenbach’s Principle of the Common Cause. First, it is argued that common cause abduction can be regarded as a rational inferential mechanism that enables us to accept hypotheses that aim to account for the surprising correlations of events. Three arguments are presented in support of common cause abduction: the argument from screening-off, the argument from likelihood, and the (...)
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  22. Causation, Principle of Common Cause and Theoretical Explanation: Wesley C. Salmon and G. W. F. Hegel.Igor Hanzel - 2012 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 43 (1):29-44.
    The aim of this article is to analyze the main contributions of Wesley C. Salmon to the philosophy of science, that is, his concepts of causation, common cause, and theoretical explanation, and to provide a critique of them. This critique will be based on a comparison of Salmon's concepts with categories developed by Hegel in his Science of Logic, and which can be applied to the issues treated by Salmon by means of the above given three concepts. It is the (...)
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  23. Varieties of Causation in Consciousness Studies.J. Jordan, H. Atmanspacher & R. Bishop - 2012 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 19 (5-6):7-11.
    In cognitive neuroscience and in philosophy of mind, causation is a notion that is immensely important but usually not defined precisely enough to afford careful application. A widespread basic flaw is the confusion of causation with correlation. All empirical knowledge in the sciences is based on observing correlations; assigning causal relations to them or interpreting them causally always requires a theoretical background that is implicitly or (better) explicitly stated. This entails that differing theoretical approaches might lead to different interpretations of (...)
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  24. Probabilistic Measures of Causal Strength.Branden Fitelson & Christopher Hitchcock - 2011 - In Phyllis McKay Illari Federica Russo (ed.), Causality in the Sciences. Oxford University Press. pp. 600--627.
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  25. A Probabilistic Analysis of Causation.Luke Glynn - 2011 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 62 (2):343-392.
    The starting point in the development of probabilistic analyses of token causation has usually been the naïve intuition that, in some relevant sense, a cause raises the probability of its effect. But there are well-known examples both of non-probability-raising causation and of probability-raising non-causation. Sophisticated extant probabilistic analyses treat many such cases correctly, but only at the cost of excluding the possibilities of direct non-probability-raising causation, failures of causal transitivity, action-at-a-distance, prevention, and causation by absence and omission. I show that (...)
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  26. Causality in the Sciences.Illari Phyllis McKay, Russo Federica & Williamson Jon (eds.) - 2011 - Oxford University Press.
  27. Probabilistic Causality and Causal Generalizations.Daniel M. Hausman - 2010 - In Ellery Eells & James H. Fetzer (eds.), The Place of Probability in Science. Springer. pp. 47--63.
  28. Natural-Born Determinists: A New Defense of Causation as Probability-Raising.Robert Northcott - 2010 - Philosophical Studies 150 (1):1-20.
    A definition of causation as probability-raising is threatened by two kinds of counterexample: first, when a cause lowers the probability of its effect; and second, when the probability of an effect is raised by a non-cause. In this paper, I present an account that deals successfully with problem cases of both these kinds. In doing so, I also explore some novel implications of incorporating into the metaphysical investigation considerations of causal psychology.
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  29. The Causal Structure of the World.Wesley Salmon - 2010 - Metatheoria 1 (1).
    The aim of this talk unpublished until now, and that constitutes the last contribution of the author to this topic, is to show how Hans Reichenbach’s work “Die Kausalstruktur der Welt und der Unterschied zwischen Vergangenheit und Zukunft” , published in 1925, and significantly expanded and revised in the posthumously published book in 1956, The Direction of Time, inspires substantially part of the work that is carried out in the domain of causality at the beginning of the twenty first century.
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  30. Only Countable Reichenbachian Common Cause Systems Exist.Leszek Wroński & Michał Marczyk - 2010 - Foundations of Physics 40 (8):1155-1160.
    In this paper we give a positive answer to a problem posed by Hofer-Szabó and Rédei (Int. J. Theor. Phys. 43:1819–1826, 2004) regarding the existence of infinite Reichenbachian common cause systems (RCCSs). An example of a countably infinite RCCS is presented. It is also determined that no RCCSs of greater cardinality exist.
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  31. Causality and Causal Modelling in the Social Sciences.Federica Russo - 2009 - Springer, Dordrecht.
    The anti-causal prophecies of last century have been disproved. Causality is neither a ‘relic of a bygone’ nor ‘another fetish of modern science’; it still occupies a large part of the current debate in philosophy and the sciences. This investigation into causal modelling presents the rationale of causality, i.e. the notion that guides causal reasoning in causal modelling. It is argued that causal models are regimented by a rationale of variation, nor of regularity neither invariance, thus breaking down the dominant (...)
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  32. Reichenbach’s Common Cause Principle and Indeterminism: A Review.Iñaki San Pedro & Mauricio Suárez - 2009 - In José Luis González Recio (ed.), Philosophical Essays on Physics and Biology. Georg Olms Verlag. pp. 223-250.
    We offer a review of some of the most influential views on the status of Reichenbach’s Principle of the Common Cause (RPCC) for genuinely indeterministic systems. We first argue that the RPCC is properly a conjunction of two distinct claims, one metaphysical and another methodological. Both claims can and have been contested in the literature, but here we simply assume that the metaphysical claim is correct, in order to focus our analysis on the status of the methodological claim. We briefly (...)
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  33. How Probabilistic Causation Can Account for the Use of Mechanistic Evidence.Erik Weber - 2009 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 23 (3):277-295.
    In a recent article in this journal, Federica Russo and Jon Williamson argue that an analysis of causality in terms of probabilistic relationships does not do justice to the use of mechanistic evidence to support causal claims. I will present Ronald Giere's theory of probabilistic causation, and show that it can account for the use of mechanistic evidence (both in the health sciences—on which Russo and Williamson focus—and elsewhere). I also review some other probabilistic theories of causation (of Suppes, Eells, (...)
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  34. Reichenbach's Common Cause Principle.Frank Arntzenius - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Suppose that two geysers, about one mile apart, erupt at irregular intervals, but usually erupt almost exactly at the same time. One would suspect that they come from a common source, or at least that there is a common cause of their eruptions. And this common cause surely acts before both eruptions take place. This idea, that simultaneous correlated events must have prior common causes, was first made precise by Hans Reichenbach (Reichenbach 1956). It can be used to infer the (...)
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  35. The Limits of Common Cause Approach to EPR Correlation.Katsuaki Higashi - 2008 - Foundations of Physics 38 (7):591-609.
    It is often argued that no local common cause models of EPR correlation exist. However, Szabó and Rédei pointed out that such arguments have the tacit assumption that plural correlations have the same common causes. Furthermore, Szabó showed that for EPR correlation a local common cause model in his sense exists. One of his requirements is that common cause events are statistically independent of apparatus settings on each side. However, as Szabó knows, to meet this requirement does not entail that (...)
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  36. Probabilistic Causation.Christopher Hitchcock - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    “Probabilistic Causation” designates a group of theories that aim to characterize the relationship between cause and effect using the tools of probability theory. The central idea behind these theories is that causes change the probabilities of their effects. This article traces developments in probabilistic causation, including recent developments in causal modeling. A variety of issues within, and objections to, probabilistic theories of causation will also be discussed.
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  37. Separate- Versus Common -Common-Cause-Type Derivations of the Bell Inequalities.Gábor Hofer-Szabó - 2008 - Synthese 163 (2):199 - 215.
    Standard derivations of the Bell inequalities assume a common common cause system that is a common screener-off for all correlations and some additional assumptions concerning locality and no-conspiracy. In a recent paper (Grasshoff et al., 2005) Bell inequalities have been derived via separate common causes assuming perfect correlations between the events. In the paper it will be shown that the assumptions of this separate-common-cause-type derivation of the Bell inequalities in the case of perfect correlations can be reduced to the assumptions (...)
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  38. The Principle of the Common Cause, the Causal Markov Condition, and Quantum Mechanics: Comments on Cartwright.Iain Martel - 2008 - In Luc Bovens, Carl Hoefer & Stephan Hartmann (eds.), Nancy Cartwright’s Philosophy of Science. Routledge. pp. 242-262.
    Nancy Cartwright believes that we live in a Dappled World– a world in which theories, principles, and methods applicable in one domain may be inapplicable in others; in which there are no universal principles. One of the targets of Cartwright’s arguments for this conclusion is the Causal Markov condition, a condition which has been proposed as a universal condition on causal structures.1 The Causal Markov condition, Cartwright argues, is applicable only in a limited domain of special cases, and thus cannot (...)
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  39. Probability and Causality in the Early Works of Hans Reichenbach.Flavia Padovani - 2008 - Dissertation, University of Geneva
  40. Causes and Probability-Raisers of Processes.Sungho Choi - 2007 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 85 (1):81 – 91.
    Schaffer proposes a new account of probabilistic causation that synthesizes the probability-raising and process-linkage views on causation. The driving idea of Schaffer's account is that, although an effect does not invariably depend on its cause, a process linked to the effect does. In this paper, however, I will advance counterexamples to Schaffer's account and then demonstrate that Schaffer's possible responses to them do not work. Finally, I will argue that my counterexamples suggest that the driving idea of Schaffer's account is (...)
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  41. Cause and Chance: Causation in an Indeterministic World. [REVIEW]Jonathan Schaffer - 2007 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 58 (4):869-874.
    This is an excellent anthology. The contributors are first-rate, the contributions are state-of-the-art, and the content is highly unified. The introduction further connects the essays and succinctly articulates the main themes. What results will be of interest to anyone interested in the contemporary discussion of causation.
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  42. Reichenbachian Common Cause Systems of Arbitrary Finite Size Exist.Gábor Hofer-Szabó & Miklós Rédei - 2006 - Foundations of Physics 36 (5):745-756.
    A partition $\{C_i\}_{i\in I}$ of a Boolean algebra Ω in a probability measure space (Ω, p) is called a Reichenbachian common cause system for the correlation between a pair A,B of events in Ω if any two elements in the partition behave like a Reichenbachian common cause and its complement; the cardinality of the index set I is called the size of the common cause system. It is shown that given any non-strict correlation in (Ω, p), and given any finite (...)
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  43. Comment on Hausman & Woodward on the Causal Markov Condition.Daniel Steel - 2006 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 57 (1):219-231.
    Woodward present an argument for the Causal Markov Condition (CMC) on the basis of a principle they dub ‘modularity’ ([1999, 2004]). I show that the conclusion of their argument is not in fact the CMC but a substantially weaker proposition. In addition, I show that their argument is invalid and trace this invalidity to two features of modularity, namely, that it is stated in terms of pairwise independence and ‘arrow-breaking’ interventions. Hausman & Woodward's argument can be rendered valid through a (...)
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  44. The Explanatory Virtues of Probabilistic Causal Laws.Henrik Hallsten - 2005 - In Jan Faye, Paul Needham, Uwe Scheffler & Max Urchs (eds.), Nature's Principles. Springer. pp. 137--150.
  45. Causes and Explanations: A Structural-Model Approach. Part I: Causes.Joseph Y. Halpern & Judea Pearl - 2005 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 56 (4):843-887.
    We propose a new definition of actual causes, using structural equations to model counterfactuals. We show that the definition yields a plausible and elegant account of causation that handles well examples which have caused problems for other definitions and resolves major difficulties in the traditional account.
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  46. Probability Theory and Causation: A Branching Space-Times Analysis.Thomas Müller - 2005 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 56 (3):487-520.
    We provide a formally rigorous framework for integrating singular causation, as understood by Nuel Belnap's theory of causae causantes, and objective single case probabilities. The central notion is that of a causal probability space whose sample space consists of causal alternatives. Such a probability space is generally not isomorphic to a product space. We give a causally motivated statement of the Markov condition and an analysis of the concept of screening-off.
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  47. Causal Compatibilism -- What Chance?Jack Ritchie - 2005 - Erkenntnis 63 (1):119-132.
    Orthodox physicalism has a problem with mental causation. If physics is complete and mental events are not identical to physical events (as multiple-realisation arguments imply) it seems as though there is no causal work for the mental to do. This paper examines some recent attempts to overcome this problem by analysing causation in terms of counterfactuals or conditional probabilities. It is argued that these solutions cannot simultaneously capture the force of the completeness of physics and make room for mental causation.
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  48. Analysing Chancy Causation Without Appeal to Chance-Raising.Stephen Barker - 2004 - In Phil Dowe & Paul Noordhof (eds.), Cause and Chance: Causation in an Indeterministic World. Routledge.
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  49. Chance-Changing Causal Processes.Helen Beebee - 2004 - In Phil Dowe & Paul Noordhof (eds.), Cause and Chance. London: Routledge. pp. 39-57.
    Scepticism concerning the idea of causation being linked to contingent chance-raising is articulated in Beebee’s challenging chapter. She suggests that none of these approaches will avoid the consequence that spraying defoliant on a weed is a cause of the weed’s subsequent health. We will always be able to abstract away enough of the healthy plant processes so all that’s left is the causal chain involving defoliation and health. In those circumstances, there will be contingent chance-raising. Beebee’s conclusion is that we (...)
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  50. Causation and Counterfactuals.John Collins, Ned Hall & Laurie Paul (eds.) - 2004 - MIT Press.
    Thirty years after Lewis's paper, this book brings together some of the most important recent work connecting—or, in some cases, disputing the connection ...
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