Philosophy of Science 70 (1):203-224 (2003)

Nancy Cartwright
London School of Economics
In much recent work, invariance under intervention has become a hallmark of the correctness of a causal-law claim. Despite its importance this thesis generally is either simply assumed or is supported by very general arguments with heavy reliance on examples, and crucial notions involved are characterized only loosely. Yet for both philosophical analysis and practicing science, it is important to get clear about whether invariance under intervention is or is not necessary or sufficient for which kinds of causal claims. Furthermore, we need to know what counts as an intervention and what invariance is. In this paper I offer explicit definitions of two different kinds for the notions intervention, invariance, and causal correctness. Then, given some natural and relatively uncontroversial assumptions, I prove two distinct sets of theorems showing that invariance is indeed a mark of causality when the concepts are appropriately interpreted.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1086/367876
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 51,480
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Causation, Prediction, and Search.Peter Spirtes, Clark Glymour & Richard Scheines - 1996 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 47 (1):113-123.
Causality in Macroeconomics.Kevin D. Hoover - 2001 - Cambridge University Press.
Causal Asymmetries.Daniel M. Hausman - 2000 - Mind 109 (436):933-937.

View all 8 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Causation and Manipulability.James Woodward - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Causation: One Word, Many Things.Nancy Cartwright - 2004 - Philosophy of Science 71 (5):805-819.
Modularity and the Causal Markov Condition: A Restatement.Daniel M. Hausman & James Woodward - 2004 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 55 (1):147-161.
What Evidence Should Guidelines Take Note Of?Nancy Cartwright - 2018 - Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice 24 (5):1139-1144.

View all 11 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles


Added to PP index

Total views
68 ( #135,868 of 2,330,641 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #585,854 of 2,330,641 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes