How Probabilistic Causation Can Account for the Use of Mechanistic Evidence


Abstract
In a recent article in this journal, Federica Russo and Jon Williamson argue that an analysis of causality in terms of probabilistic relationships does not do justice to the use of mechanistic evidence to support causal claims. I will present Ronald Giere's theory of probabilistic causation, and show that it can account for the use of mechanistic evidence (both in the health sciences—on which Russo and Williamson focus—and elsewhere). I also review some other probabilistic theories of causation (of Suppes, Eells, and Humphreys) and show that they cannot account for the use of mechanistic evidence. I argue that these theories are also inferior to Giere's theory in other respects
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DOI 10.1080/02698590903197757
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References found in this work BETA

Causality: Models, Reasoning, and Inference.Judea Pearl - 2000 - Cambridge University Press.
Making Things Happen.E. Hiddleston - 2005 - Philosophical Review 114 (4):545-547.

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Citations of this work BETA

Mechanistic Evidence: Disambiguating the Russo–Williamson Thesis.Phyllis McKay Illari - 2011 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 25 (2):139 - 157.
Establishing Causal Claims in Medicine.Jon Williamson - 2019 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 32 (1):33-61.

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