Causality, propensity, and bayesian networks

Synthese 132 (1-2):63 - 88 (2002)
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Abstract

This paper investigates the relations between causality and propensity. Aparticular version of the propensity theory of probability is introduced, and it is argued that propensities in this sense are not causes. Some conclusions regarding propensities can, however, be inferred from causal statements, but these hold only under restrictive conditions which prevent cause being defined in terms of propensity. The notion of a Bayesian propensity network is introduced, and the relations between such networks and causal networks is investigated. It is argued that causal networks cannot be identified with Bayesian propensity networks, but that causal networks can be a valuable heuristic guide for the construction of Bayesian propensity networks.

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Donald Gillies
University College London

References found in this work

How the Laws of Physics Lie.Nancy Cartwright - 1983 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
The Direction of Time.Hans Reichenbach - 1956 - Dover Publications.
Critique of Pure Reason.I. Kant - 1787/1998 - Philosophy 59 (230):555-557.
Causality.Judea Pearl - 2000 - Cambridge University Press.
The Logic of Scientific Discovery.Karl Popper - 1959 - Studia Logica 9:262-265.

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