A generalized probabilistic theory of causal relevance

Synthese 97 (3):335 - 364 (1993)
I advance a new theory of causal relevance, according to which causal claims convey information about conditional probability functions. This theory is motivated by the problem of disjunctive factors, which haunts existing probabilistic theories of causation. After some introductory remarks, I present in Section 3 a sketch of Eells's (1991) probabilistic theory of causation, which provides the framework for much of the discussion. Section 4 explains how the problem of disjunctive factors arises within this framework. After rejecting three proposed solutions, I offer in Section 6 a new approach to causation that avoids the problem. Decision-theoretic considerations also support the new approach. Section 8 develops the consequences of the new theory for causal explanation. The resulting theory of causal explanation incorporates the new insights while respecting important work on scientific explanation by Salmon (1971), Railton (1981), and Humphreys (1989). My conclusions are enumerated in Section 9.
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DOI 10.1007/BF01064073
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References found in this work BETA
How the Laws of Physics Lie.Nancy Cartwright - 1983 - Oxford University Press.
Philosophical Papers Vol. II.Lewis David - 1986 - Oxford University Press.
Causation.David Lewis - 1973 - Journal of Philosophy 70 (17):556-567.
The Nature of Selection.Elliott Sober - 1986 - Behaviorism 14 (1):77-88.

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Citations of this work BETA
A Priori Causal Models of Natural Selection.Elliott Sober - 2011 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 89 (4):571 - 589.
A Probabilistic Analysis of Causation.Luke Glynn - 2011 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 62 (2):343-392.

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