“Spurious Correlations and Causal Inferences”

Erkenntnis 78 (3):699-712 (2013)
Abstract
The failure to recognize a correlation as spurious can lead people to adopt strategies to bring about a specific outcome that manipulate something other than a cause of the outcome. However, in a 2008 paper appearing in the journal Analysis, Bert Leuridan, Erik Weber and Maarten Van Dyck suggest that knowledge of spurious correlations can, at least sometimes, justify adopting a strategy aiming at bringing about some change. This claim is surprising and, if true, throws into question the claim of Nancy Cartwright and others that knowledge of laws of association is insufficient for distinguishing effective and ineffective strategies. This paper examines the nature of spurious correlations and their value in crafting strategies for change. The conclusion of the paper is that while knowledge of a spurious correlation may have practical value, the value depends on either having knowledge of the causal structure underlying the correlation or it depends on the use of ‘causal criteria’
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s10670-012-9411-6
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
Edit this record
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Mark as duplicate
Request removal from index
Revision history
Download options
Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 30,803
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
Causality: Models, Reasoning, and Inference.Judea Pearl - 2000 - Cambridge University Press.
Cause and Norm.Christopher Hitchcock & Joshua Knobe - 2009 - Journal of Philosophy 106 (11):587-612.

View all 23 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Agency and Probabilistic Causality.Huw Price - 1991 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 42 (2):157-176.
Can Causes Be Reduced to Correlations?Gürol Irzik - 1996 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 47 (2):249-270.
Causal Inference in Quantum Mechanics: A Reassessment.Mauricio Suárez - 2007 - In Federica Russo & Jon Williamson (eds.), Causality and Probability in the Sciences. College Publications. pp. 65-106.
Of the Spurious Mystery in Causal Connections.C. J. Ducasse - 1930 - Philosophical Review 39 (4):398-403.
Inferring Motives in Psychology and Psychoanalysis.Michael Lacewing - forthcoming - Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 19 (3):197-212.
Causation, Robustness, and EPR.Richard A. Healey - 1992 - Philosophy of Science 59 (2):282-292.
Added to PP index
2012-11-11

Total downloads
27 ( #196,067 of 2,202,706 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #301,061 of 2,202,706 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads
My notes
Sign in to use this feature