In Michael Brent (ed.), Mental Action and the Conscious Mind. Routledge (forthcoming)

Holly Andersen
Simon Fraser University
This paper brings together Thompson's naive action explanation with interventionist modeling of causal structure to show how they work together to produce causal models that go beyond current modeling capabilities, when applied to specifically selected systems. By deploying well-justified assumptions about rationalization, we can strengthen existing causal modeling techniques' inferential power in cases where we take ourselves to be modeling causal systems that also involve actions. The internal connection between means and end exhibited in naive action explanation has a modal strength like that of distinctively mathematical explanation, rather than that of causal explanation. Because it is stronger than causation, it can be treated as if it were merely causal in a causal model without thereby overextending the justification it can provide for inferences. This chapter introduces and demonstrate the usage of the Rationalization condition in causal modeling, where it is apt for the system(s) being modeled, and to provide the basics for incorporating R variables into systems of variables and R arrows into DAGs. Use of the Rationalization condition supplements causal analysis with action analysis where it is apt.
Keywords causation  causal modeling  action  explanation  rationalization
Categories (categorize this paper)
Buy the book Find it on
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Translate to english
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Causal Modeling and the Statistical Analysis of Causation.Gürol Irzik - 1986 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1986:12 - 23.
Abstract Versus Causal Explanations?Reutlinger Alexander & Andersen Holly - 2016 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 30 (2):129-146.
Understanding Science: Why Causes Are Not Enough.Ruth Berger - 1998 - Philosophy of Science 65 (2):306-332.
Of Miracles and Interventions.Luke Glynn - 2013 - Erkenntnis 78 (1):43-64.
The Causal Nature of Modeling with Big Data.Wolfgang Pietsch - 2016 - Philosophy and Technology 29 (2):137-171.


Added to PP index

Total views
477 ( #17,382 of 2,462,067 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
31 ( #27,376 of 2,462,067 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes