In Phyllis McKay Illari, Federica Russo & Jon Williamson (eds.), Causality in the Sciences. Oxford University Press. pp. 45--69 (2011)
This chapter explores the idea that causal inference is warranted if and only if the mechanism underlying the inferred causal association is identified. This mechanistic stance is discernible in the epidemiological literature, and in the strategies adopted by epidemiologists seeking to establish causal hypotheses. But the exact opposite methodology is also discernible, the black box stance, which asserts that epidemiologists can and should make causal inferences on the basis of their evidence, without worrying about the mechanisms that might underlie their hypotheses. I argue that the mechanistic stance is indeed a bad methodology for causal inference. However, I detach and defend a mechanistic interpretation of causal generalisations in epidemiology as existence claims about underlying mechanisms.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
What is a Mechanism? Thinking About Mechanisms Across the Sciences.Phyllis Illari & Jon Williamson - 2012 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 2 (1):119-135.
Mechanisms and the Evidence Hierarchy.Brendan Clarke, Donald Gillies, Phyllis Illari, Federica Russo & Jon Williamson - 2014 - Topoi 33 (2):339-360.
Mechanistic Evidence: Disambiguating the Russo–Williamson Thesis.Phyllis McKay Illari - 2011 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 25 (2):139 - 157.
Cancer and the Goals of Integration.Anya Plutynski - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C (4):466-476.
Hunting Side Effects and Explaining Them: Should We Reverse Evidence Hierarchies Upside Down?Barbara Osimani - 2014 - Topoi 33 (2):295-312.
Similar books and articles
Explaining Disease: Correlations, Causes, and Mechanisms. [REVIEW]Paul Thagard - 1998 - Minds and Machines 8 (1):61-78.
Variational Causal Claims in Epidemiology.Federica Russo - 2009 - Perspectives in Biology and Medicine 52 (4):540-554.
Social Mechanisms, Causal Inference, and the Policy Relevance of Social Science.Erik Weber - 2007 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 37 (3):348-359.
Social Mechanisms and Causal Inference.Daniel Steel - 2004 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 34 (1):55-78.
The Case for Regularity in Mechanistic Causal Explanation.Holly Andersen - 2012 - Synthese 189 (3):415-432.
Negative Causation in Causal and Mechanistic Explanation.D. Benjamin Barros - 2013 - Synthese 190 (3):449-469.
Explanations by Mechanisms in the Social Sciences. Problems, Advantages and Alternatives.Karl-Dieter Opp - 2005 - Mind and Society 4 (2):163-178.
Activity-Based Accounts of Mechanism and the Threat of Polygenic Effects.Johannes Persson - 2010 - Erkenntnis 72 (1):135 - 149.
Causal Learning: Psychology, Philosophy, and Computation.Alison Gopnik & Laura Schulz (eds.) - 2007 - Oxford University Press.
With or Without Mechanisms A Reply to Weber.Daniel Steel - 2007 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 37 (3):360-365.
On 'Stabilising' Medical Mechanisms, Truth-Makers and Epistemic Causality: A Critique to Williamson and Russo's Approach.Stefan Dragulinescu - 2012 - Synthese 187 (2):785-800.
Added to index2011-05-24
Total downloads586 ( #2,199 of 2,152,648 )
Recent downloads (6 months)82 ( #1,960 of 2,152,648 )
How can I increase my downloads?