Common causes love to hide: Gábor Hofer-Szabó, Miklós Rédei and László E. Szabó: The principle of the common cause. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013, vii+202pp, $99.00 HB [Book Review]

Metascience 24 (2):247-251 (2014)
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Abstract

Anything other than paraphrasing the well-known Heraclitean aphorism would not be more appropriate to portray the crux of the contribution of the three philosophers of the Budapest School, Gábor Hofer-Szabó, Miklós Rédei and Lázló E. Szabó, in the ongoing discussion of the principle of the common cause . Indeed, ‘common causes love to hide’ and for that reason critics and aspirant falsifiers of PCC find correlations which, at a first level of analysis, might lack a common cause explanation. But as the authors argue such correlations do not amount to disconfirming evidence for the principle, since PCC does not specify where to search for a common cause of a correlation; it just states that there is one. PCC is neither falsifiable, nor verifiable; it is a metaphysical doctrine that can only be assessed for its plausibility in the light of theories of empirical science. This idea fosters the investigation of the existence of common causes of correlations in two fundamental physical t ..

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Chrysovalantis Stergiou
The American College of Greece: Deree

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