Indeterminism and the causal Markov condition

British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 56 (1):3-26 (2005)
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Abstract

The causal Markov condition (CMC) plays an important role in much recent work on the problem of causal inference from statistical data. It is commonly thought that the CMC is a more problematic assumption for genuinely indeterministic systems than for deterministic ones. In this essay, I critically examine this proposition. I show how the usual motivation for the CMC—that it is true of any acyclic, deterministic causal system in which the exogenous variables are independent—can be extended to the indeterministic case. In light of this result, I consider several arguments for supposing indeterminism a particularly hostile environment for the CMC, but conclude that none are persuasive. Introduction Functional models and directed graphs The causal Markov theorem The causal Markov theorem and genuine indeterminism Are the exogenous variables independent? EPR Conclusion.

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