Synthese 196 (8):3213-3230 (2019)

Authors
David Danks
Carnegie Mellon University
Abstract
Many approaches to evidence amalgamation focus on relatively static information or evidence: the data to be amalgamated involve different variables, contexts, or experiments, but not measurements over extended periods of time. However, much of scientific inquiry focuses on dynamical systems; the system’s behavior over time is critical. Moreover, novel problems of evidence amalgamation arise in these contexts. First, data can be collected at different measurement timescales, where potentially none of them correspond to the underlying system’s causal timescale. Second, missing variables have a significantly different impact on time series measurements than they do in the traditional static setting; in particular, they make causal and structural inference much more difficult. In this paper, we argue that amalgamation should proceed by integrating causal knowledge, rather than at the level of “raw” evidence. We defend this claim by first outlining both of these problems, and then showing that they can be solved only if we operate on causal structures. We therefore must use causal discovery methods that are reliable given these problems. Such methods do exist, but their successful application requires careful consideration of the problems that we highlight.
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DOI 10.1007/s11229-017-1568-8
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References found in this work BETA

Making Things Happen. A Theory of Causal Explanation.Michael Strevens - 2007 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 74 (1):233-249.
Causation, Prediction, and Search.Peter Spirtes, Clark Glymour & Richard Scheines - 1996 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 47 (1):113-123.
Is Meta-Analysis the Platinum Standard of Evidence?Jacob Stegenga - 2011 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 42 (4):497-507.
Is Meta-Analysis the Platinum Standard of Evidence?Jacob Stegenga - 2011 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 42 (4):497-507.

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