Interventions: a case study in formalisation


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Jan-Willem Romeijn
University of Groningen
Abstract
In this paper I discuss probabilistic models of experimental intervention, and I show that such models elucidate the intuition that observations during intervention are more informative than observations per se. Because of this success, it seems attractive to also cast other problems addressed by the philosophy of experimentation in terms of such probabilistic models. However, a critical examination of the models reveals that some of the aspects of experimentation are covered up rather than resolved by probabilistic modelling. I end by drawing a number of general lessons on the use of formal methods in the philosophy of science
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