Authors
Abstract
In the area of social science, in particular, although we have developed methods for reliably discovering the existence of causal relationships, we are not very good at using these to design effective social policy. Cartwright argues that in order to improve our ability to use causal relationships, it is essential to develop a theory of causation that makes explicit the connections between the nature of causation, our best methods for discovering causal relationships, and the uses to which these are put. I argue that Woodward’s interventionist theory of causation is uniquely suited to meet Cartwright’s challenge. More specifically, interventionist mechanisms can provide the bridge from ‘hunting causes’ to ‘using them’, if interventionists (i) tell us more about the nature of these mechanisms, and (ii) endorse the claim that it is these mechanisms (or whatever constitutes them) that make causal claims true. I illustrate how having an understanding of interventionist mechanisms can allow us to put causal knowledge to use via a detailed example from organic chemistry.
Keywords interventionism  mechanisms  Cartwright  organic chemistry
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1016/j.shpsa.2018.04.002
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 71,464
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

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Interventionist Decision Theory.Reuben Stern - 2017 - Synthese 194 (10):4133-4153.
How to Be a Humean Interventionist.Jaakko Kuorikoski - 2014 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 89 (2):333-351.
Interventionism and Causal Exclusion.James Woodward - 2015 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 91 (2):303-347.
Getting Rid of Interventions.Alexander Reutlinger - 2012 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 43 (4):787-795.
Interventionism and Supervenience: A New Problem and Provisional Solution.Markus8 Eronen & Daniel Brooks - 2014 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 28 (2):185-202.
Does the Interventionist Notion of Causation Deliver Us From the Fear of Epiphenomenalism?Tuomas K. Pernu - 2013 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 27 (2):157-172.
Identifying Intervention Variables.Michael Baumgartner & Isabelle Drouet - 2013 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 3 (2):183-205.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2018-04-29

Total views
19 ( #585,240 of 2,520,747 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #405,718 of 2,520,747 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes