Causality as a theoretical concept: explanatory warrant and empirical content of the theory of causal nets

Synthese 193 (4):1073-1103 (2016)

Authors
Alexander Gebharter
University of Groningen
Gerhard Schurz
Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf
Abstract
We start this paper by arguing that causality should, in analogy with force in Newtonian physics, be understood as a theoretical concept that is not explicated by a single definition, but by the axioms of a theory. Such an understanding of causality implicitly underlies the well-known theory of causal nets and has been explicitly promoted by Glymour. In this paper we investigate the explanatory warrant and empirical content of TCN. We sketch how the assumption of directed cause–effect relations can be philosophically justified by an inference to the best explanation. We then ask whether the explanations provided by TCN are merely post-facto or have independently testable empirical content. To answer this question we develop a fine-grained axiomatization of TCN, including a distinction of different kinds of faithfulness. A number of theorems show that although the core axioms of TCN are empirically empty, extended versions of TCN have successively increasing empirical content.
Keywords screening off  linking up  axioms for causal nets  inference to the best explanation  empirical content  causation  causal nets
Categories (categorize this paper)
Reprint years 2016
ISBN(s)
DOI 10.1007/s11229-014-0630-z
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 43,022
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Causality.Judea Pearl - 2009 - Cambridge University Press.
Causation, Prediction, and Search.Peter Spirtes, Clark Glymour & Richard Scheines - 1996 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 47 (1):113-123.
The Cultural Origins of Human Cognition.M. Tomasello - 1999 - Harvard University Press.

View all 39 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Causal Exclusion and Causal Bayes Nets.Alexander Gebharter - 2017 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 95 (2):353-375.
The Causal Problem of Entanglement.Paul Näger - 2016 - Synthese 193 (4):1127-1155.

View all 22 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

The Causal Problem of Entanglement.Paul Näger - 2016 - Synthese 193 (4):1127-1155.
Causal Warrant for Realism About Particle Physics.Matthias Egg - 2012 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 43 (2):259-280.
Content, Causation, and Psychophysical Supervenience.Joseph Owens - 1993 - Philosophy of Science 60 (2):242-61.
On Content and Truth-Conditions.Tal Miller Aviran - 2003 - Dissertation, University of Alberta (Canada)
The Three Faces of Faithfulness.Jiji Zhang & Peter Spirtes - 2016 - Synthese 193 (4):1011-1027.
Is There an Independent Principle of Causality in Physics?John Norton - 2009 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 60 (3):475-486.
Teleofunctionalism and Psychological Explanation.Jason Bridges - 2006 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 28 (September):359-372.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2015-02-04

Total views
89 ( #89,454 of 2,259,693 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
9 ( #134,859 of 2,259,693 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature