According to mental model theory, illusory inferences are a class of deductions in which individuals systematically go wrong. Mental model theory explains them invoking the principle of truth, which is a tendency not to represent models that falsify the premises. In this paper we focus on the illusory problems based on conditional sentences. In three experiments, we show that: (a) rather than not representing models that falsify the conditionals, participants have a different understanding of what falsifies a conditional (Experiment I); (...) (b) specifically, participants think that a conditional with an impossible antecedent or consequent is false (Experiment 2); (c) if the domain of the conditionals in the illusory problems are expanded to show that their antecedents and consequents are possible, the participants find it easy to reach the correct conclusions (Experiment 3). According to our results, the illusory inferences based on conditional premises, differently from those based on disjunctive premises, are caused by a difference between the understanding of natural language factual conditionals and the truth table of the factual implication; the principle of truth is not necessary to explain them. (shrink)
According to Russo and Williamson :157–170, 2007, Hist Philos Life Sci 33:389–396, 2011a, Philos Sci 1:47–69, 2011b), in order to establish a causal claim of the form, ‘C is a cause of E’, one typically needs evidence that there is an underlying mechanism between C and E as well as evidence that C makes a difference to E. This thesis has been used to argue that hierarchies of evidence, as championed by evidence-based movements, tend to give primacy to evidence (...) of difference making over evidence of mechanisms and are flawed because the two sorts of evidence are required and they should be treated on a par. An alternative approach gives primacy to evidence of mechanism over evidence of difference making. In this paper, we argue that this alternative approach is equally flawed, again because both sorts of evidence need to be treated on a par. As an illustration of this parity, we explain how scientists working in the ‘EnviroGenomarkers’ project constantly make use of the two evidential components in a dynamic and intertwined way. We argue that such an interplay is needed not only for causal assessment but also for policy purposes. (shrink)
Current research in molecular epidemiology uses biomarkers to model the different disease phases from environmental exposure, to early clinical changes, to development of disease. The hope is to get a better understanding of the causal impact of a number of pollutants and chemicals on several diseases, including cancer and allergies. In a recent paper Russo and Williamson address the question of what evidential elements enter the conceptualisation and modelling stages of this type of biomarkers research. Recent research in causality (...) has examined Ned Hall’s distinction between two concepts of causality: production and dependence. In another recent paper, Illari examined the relatively under-explored production approach to causality, arguing that at least one job of an account of causal production is to illuminate our inferential practices concerning causal linking. Illari argued that an informational account solves existing problems with traditional accounts. This paper follows up this previous work by investigating the nature of the causal links established in biomarkers research. We argue that traditional accounts of productive causality are unable to provide a sensible account of the nature of the causal link in biomarkers research, while an informational account is very promising. (shrink)
The main purpose in this article is to give an overwiev and to clarify the thought of Stelio Zeppi, one of the most outstanding scholars at the Trieste State University. Zeppi published extensively on ancient greek political thought, on french modern literature and italian contemporary philosophy and political thought. He started (1960) his career in discussing the main topics of Guido Calogero's Philosophy of Praxis and than his main fields of interests were on the ancient greek philosophy. He became more (...) and more interested in ethics, philosophy and Political Theory For the first time, in this article, Antonio Russo shows that Stelio Zeppi, in just the last decade of his life developed a new point of view, i. d. admitting that the Christian is the best and most complete or perfect ethical point of view and brings the ancient ethics to its highest point. (shrink)
Philosophy of medicine: between clinical trials and mechanisms Content Type Journal Article Category Book Review Pages 1-4 DOI 10.1007/s11016-011-9630-5 Authors Federica Russo, Philosophy-SECL, University of Kent, Canterbury, CT2 7NF UK Journal Metascience Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796.
In _The Future without a Past,_ John Paul Russo goes beyond currently given reasons for the decline of the humanities and searches out its root causes in the technologization of everyday life. His main premise is that we are undergoing a transformation at the hands of technological imperatives such as rationalization, universalism, monism, and autonomy. The relation between ourselves and nature has altered to such a degree that we no longer live in a natural environment but in a technological (...) one. According to Russo, technological values have actually eroded human values instead of being “humanized” by them. What are the implications of this shift for the humanities, traditionally seen as safeguards of the human? Russo addresses this question by situating the decline of the humanities within the larger social and historical panorama. He explores how technological values have infiltrated the humanities to the point of weakening their instruction and undermining their force; at the same time, he shows how the humanities have confronted these trends and can continue to do so. Russo believes that if we understand how technology “works” and the nature of its powers, we will then know in which realms it must be accepted and where it should be resisted. Russo outlines the components of the technological system and examines their impact on the educational system. He also discusses the loss of historical memory, including the so-called loss of the self and the transformation of the library. He studies the parallels between technological and literary values in criticism and theory, concluding with an analysis of the fiction of Don DeLillo, one of the most prominent contemporary novelists. DeLillo’s exploration of technology in American life, matched by a powerful critique of it from a broadly humanistic and religious perspective, serves to summarize the themes of the book as a whole. _The Future without a Past_ will appeal to scholars and students of literary studies, intellectual and cultural history, philosophy, ethics, media studies, and American studies, as well as to general readers who are seeking deeper insights into today’s cultural debates. (shrink)
Tobacco, divine, rare superexcellent tobacco, which goes far beyond all panaceas, potable gold and philosopher's stones, a sovereign remedy to all diseases.Although most of the toxicity, including cancerogenicity, of tobacco is related to a mix of components other than nicotine present in cigarettes (U.S. Surgeon General 2010), it is indeed nicotine that causes addiction to smoking (Benowitz 2010; Russo et al. 2011).In 1988, the U.S. Surgeon General's Report concluded that cigarettes and other forms of tobacco are addictive as a (...) result of their nicotine content, and that the processes determining tobacco addiction "are similar to those that determine addiction to drugs such as heroin and cocaine." Previously, in .. (shrink)
I. A. Richards ushered the spirit of Cambridge realism into semantics and literary criticism. When he arrived as an undergraduate in 1911, Cambridge was in the midst of its finest philosophical flowering since the Puritanism and Platonism of the seventeenth century. The revolution of G. E. Moore and Bertrand Russell against Hegelian idealism had already occurred; the Age of Principia was under way. There was a reassertion of native empiricism and a new interest in philosophical psychology, and the whole discussion (...) was marked increasingly by a preoccupation with language. Richards, too, would break with the past, with the history of criticism in the previous two generations, gather psychological ideas to establish an empirical semantics and aesthetics, and center his attention on language. Although Romantic and late-Victorian values inform his theories, Richards set down an original criticism on first principles, not on tradition. Many of his books' titles show this rationalist strains: The Foundations of Aesthetics , The Meaning of Meaning , Principles of Literary Criticism , Basic Rules of Reason , and The Philosophy of Rhetoric . The originality and influence of Richards' criticism can be shown by the number of terms he put into circulation, terms which became the currency of debate for almost half a century: close reading, tone, pseudostatement, stock response, tension, equilibrium, tenor and vehicle of metaphor, emotive and referential language.John Paul Russo is a professor and chairman of the English department at the University of Miami. He is the editor of I. A. Richards' Complementarities: Uncollected Essays and the author of Alexander Pope: Tradition and Identity and an annotated bibliography of Richards' works. He is currently completing a critical biography of Richards. "A Study in Influence: The Moore-Richards Paradigm," his previous contribution to Critical Inquiry, appeared in the Summer 1979 issue. (shrink)
"Hard task to analyze a soul. . . ." We would do well to let Wordsworth's comment guide our questioning. Have we avoided "a mystical and idle sense" of an influence? Have we lost our way tracking the "most obvious and particular thought?" Have our conclusions been "in the words of reason deeply weighed?" We might well wonder with such a supreme influence on a life that is firmly stamped by independence and originality, a source of an immense influence in (...) itself. [G. E.] Moore's philosophy provided the young [I. A.] Richards with terms and concepts for his psychological aesthetics and criticism, though Richards was not long in reacting to and passing beyond this influence. More enduring was the influence on the nature of meaning, on modes of comprehending through language analysis—more enduring and pervasive, though less traceable. Then, there is Moore's example of employing multiple hypotheses to which, in his application, Richards would give the name of complementarity. Lastly, Moore's personal influence reached deeply into the student's character, and if the influence did not initiate, it fortified and still fortifies a quest for sincerity, a Socratic quest for which we can scarcely find a "beginning." John Paul Russo is associate professor of English at Camden College, Rutgers University, the editor of I. A. Richards' Complementarities: Uncollected Essays, and the author of Alexander Pope: Tradition and Identity. (shrink)
K. Broda, Dov M. Gabbay, Alessandra Russo (all computing or computer science, Imperial College, London) and LuÍs C. Lamb (Informatics, UFRGS, Brazil) argue that though the many families of logic may seem to differ in their logical nature, it is possible to provide them with a unifying logical framework whenever their semantics is axiomatizable in first-order logic. They provide such a framework based on the labeled deductive system methodology, and demonstrate how it works in such families as normal modal (...) logics, conditional logics of normality, the modal logic of elsewhere, the multiplicative fragment of substructural linear logic, and Lukasiewicz fuzzy logic. (shrink)
Il testo affronta, alla luce delle più recenti pubblicazioni, il tema del rapporto storia e natura in Hegel; e offre una sintesi del corso di Filosofia della storia tenuto da Russo A. nel corrente anno accademico.
Evidence-based medicine (EBM) makes use of explicit procedures for grading evidence for causal claims. Normally, these procedures categorise evidence of correlation produced by statistical trials as better evidence for a causal claim than evidence of mechanisms produced by other methods. We argue, in contrast, that evidence of mechanisms needs to be viewed as complementary to, rather than inferior to, evidence of correlation. In this paper we first set out the case for treating evidence of mechanisms alongside evidence of correlation in (...) explicit protocols for evaluating evidence. Next we provide case studies which exemplify the ways in which evidence of mechanisms complements evidence of correlation in practice. Finally, we put forward some general considerations as to how the two sorts of evidence can be more closely integrated by EBM. (shrink)
Harry Frankfurt has argued that Descartes’s madness doubt in the First Meditation is importantly different from his dreaming doubt. The madness doubt does not provide a reason for doubting the senses since were the meditator to suppose he was mad his ability to successfully complete the philosophical investigation he sets for himself in the first few pages of the Meditations would be undermined. I argue that Frankfurt’s interpretation of Descartes’s madness doubt is mistaken and that it should be understood as (...) playing the same role as his more famous dreaming doubt. I focus my discussion around four questions: (Q1) What does the meditator have in mind when speaking of madness?, (Q2) Why does the meditator so quickly dismiss the madness doubt but take seriously the dreaming doubt?, (Q3) Does the madness doubt have the same scope as the dreaming doubt?, and (Q4) Why does the meditator bring up the madness doubt at all? (shrink)
We argue that the health sciences make causal claims on the basis of evidence both of physical mechanisms, and of probabilistic dependencies. Consequently, an analysis of causality solely in terms of physical mechanisms or solely in terms of probabilistic relationships, does not do justice to the causal claims of these sciences. Yet there seems to be a single relation of cause in these sciences - pluralism about causality will not do either. Instead, we maintain, the health sciences require a theory (...) of causality that unifies its mechanistic and probabilistic aspects. We argue that the epistemic theory of causality provides the required unification. (shrink)
The use of evidence in medicine is something we should continuously seek to improve. This book seeks to develop our understanding of evidence of mechanism in evaluating evidence in medicine, public health, and social care; and also offers tools to help implement improved assessment of evidence of mechanism in practice. In this way, the book offers a bridge between more theoretical and conceptual insights and worries about evidence of mechanism and practical means to fit the results into evidence assessment procedures.
While corporate social responsibility (CSR) is becoming a mainstream issue for many organizations, most of the research to date addresses CSR in large businesses rather than in small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), because it is too often considered a prerogative of large businesses only. The role of SMEs in an increasingly dynamic context is now being questioned, including what factors might affect their socially responsible behaviour. The goal of this paper is to make a comparison of SME and large firm (...) CSR strategies. Furthermore, size of the firm is analyzed as a factor that influences specific choices in the CSR field, and studied by means of a sample of 3,680 Italian firms. Based on a multi-stakeholder framework, the analysis provides evidence that large firms are more likely to identify relevant stakeholders and meet their requirements through specific and formal CSR strategies. (shrink)
The concept of corporate social responsibility (CSR) has been widely investigated, but a generally accepted theoretical framework does not yet exist. This paper argues that the idiosyncrasies of large firms and SMEs explains the different approaches to CSR, and that the notion of social capital is a more useful way of understanding the CSR approach of SMEs, whereas stakeholder theory more closely addresses the CSR approach of large firms. Based on the extant literature, we present a comparison of large firm (...) and SME idiosyncrasies suggesting that both consolidated and emerging strategic orientations toward responsible behaviours exist. Idiosyncrasies of large firms and SMEs are also discussed to provide an assessment of the firm’s strategic CSR orientation, suggesting the key drivers upon which CSR strategies must be based. A twofold consideration emerges. First, the CSR–SME relationship could be better explained if the notion of social capital is taken into account, but this should also be accompanied by a stakeholder view of the SME; second, social capital and stakeholder theory should be taken as alternative ways of explaining CSR in both large firms and SMEs. (shrink)
Scientific and philosophical literature on causality has become highly specialised. It is hard to find suitable access points for students, young researchers, or professionals outside this domain. This book provides a guide to the complex literature, explains the scientific problems of causality and the philosophical tools needed to address them.
Recent research on corporate social responsibility (CSR) suggests the need for further exploration into the relationship between small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and CSR. SMEs rarely use the language of CSR to describe their activities, but informal CSR strategies play a large part in them. The goal of this article is to investigate whether differences exist between the formal and informal CSR strategies through which firms manage relations with and the claims of their stakeholders. In this context, formal CSR strategies (...) seem to characterize large firms while informal CSR strategies prevail among micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises. We use a sample of 3,626 Italian firms to investigate our research questions. Based on a multistakeholder framework, the analysis provides evidence that small businesses* use of CSR, involving strategies with an important impact on the bottom line, reflects an attempt to secure their license to operate in the communities; while large firms rarely make attempts to integrate their CSR strategies into explicit management systems. (shrink)
According to current hierarchies of evidence for EBM, evidence of correlation is always more important than evidence of mechanisms when evaluating and establishing causal claims. We argue that evidence of mechanisms needs to be treated alongside evidence of correlation. This is for three reasons. First, correlation is always a fallible indicator of causation, subject in particular to the problem of confounding; evidence of mechanisms can in some cases be more important than evidence of correlation when assessing a causal claim. Second, (...) evidence of mechanisms is often required in order to obtain evidence of correlation. Third, evidence of mechanisms is often required in order to generalise and apply causal claims. While the EBM movement has been enormously successful in making explicit and critically examining one aspect of our evidential practice, i.e., evidence of correlation, we wish to extend this line of work to make explicit and critically examine a second aspect of our evidential practices: evidence of mechanisms. (shrink)
The anti-causal prophecies of last century have been disproved. Causality is neither a ‘relic of a bygone’ nor ‘another fetish of modern science’; it still occupies a large part of the current debate in philosophy and the sciences. This investigation into causal modelling presents the rationale of causality, i.e. the notion that guides causal reasoning in causal modelling. It is argued that causal models are regimented by a rationale of variation, nor of regularity neither invariance, thus breaking down the dominant (...) Human paradigm. The notion of variation is shown to be embedded in the scheme of reasoning behind various causal models: e.g. Rubin’s model, contingency tables, and multilevel analysis. It is also shown to be latent – yet fundamental – in many philosophical accounts. Moreover, it has significant consequences for methodological issues: the warranty of the causal interpretation of causal models, the levels of causation, the characterisation of mechanisms, and the interpretation of probability. This book offers a novel philosophical and methodological approach to causal reasoning in causal modelling and provides the reader with the tools to be up to date about various issues causality rises in social science. "Dr. Federica... more on http://springer.com/978-1-4020-8816-2.. (shrink)
Causal claims in biomedical contexts are ubiquitous albeit they are not always made explicit. This paper addresses the question of what causal claims mean in the context of disease. It is argued that in medical contexts causality ought to be interpreted according to the epistemic theory. The epistemic theory offers an alternative to traditional accounts that cash out causation either in terms of “difference-making” relations or in terms of mechanisms. According to the epistemic approach, causal claims tell us about which (...) inferences (e.g., diagnoses and prognoses) are appropriate, rather than about the presence of some physical causal relation analogous to distance or gravitational attraction. It is shown that the epistemic theory has important consequences for medical practice, in particular with regard to evidence-based causal assessment. (shrink)
Although the characteristics and advantages of interorganizational governance models based on extensive collaboration are well established in the literature, inquiry has only recently extended to sustainable supply chain management, highlighting the potential benefits of combining the integration of social and environmental issues concerning the supply chain with governance models based on joint decision making and extensive cooperation. Yet, firms still differ in both the pervasiveness of such collaborative approaches along the value chain and the extent to which sustainability issues are (...) addressed to the advantage of all parties involved. In an attempt to predict variety in the governance models related to sustainability along the value chain, we propose a theoretical model that identifies and frames four sustainable supply chain governance (SSCG) models, resulting from combinations of supply chain network density and centrality of the focal organizations. We show how, as centrality increases, firms are able to exert influence over their network, coordinating integrated approaches along the value chain. Moreover, as high centrality combines with increasing interconnectedness of the actors within a supply chain network, instrumental approaches are progressively replaced by more relational attitudes aimed at joint value creation among partners. Conditions for SSCG models' success and the main benefits gained by firms in different structural contexts are also discussed. (shrink)
In 1964, the young Walter Kasper (born in 1933) was granted by the Faculty of Catholic Theology at Tübingen the licence to teach dogmatic theology on the basis of a thesis on Philosophie und Theologie der Geschichte in der Spätphilosophie Schellings (Philosophy and Theology of History in Schelling’s Late Philosophy). Kasper’s interest in Schelling, himself a student at the Evangelisches Stift at Tübingen, thus originated in the context of his university studies in the school of J.R. Geiselmann and developed in (...) parallel with his theological education. For this reason, it is impossible to form a correct idea of Kasper and his whole theology unless one is willing to take into account this background, not least because he himself has always consciously and forcefully recognised this fact and seen in it his own centre of gravity. Kasper’s work and thought were shaped in a lasting manner during his university years. In fact, his entire academic oeuvre has been nurtured from this fecund origin so much so that he became one of the most well known names associated with the Catholic school at Tübingen to which he gave a new, creative impulse having himself been profoundly inspired by it. ‘He always emphasised his own roots not only as a teacher of theology and a member of the teaching faculty of this institution, but also as bishop’ and cardinal. The principal intention of the present article is precisely this: to return to this beginning and elucidate these decisive years for Kasper in broad outline by way of a relecture and interpretation of his book on The Absolute in History and the particular manner in which he interpreted the so-called second Schelling, an author whom he approached in the wake of Walter Schulz and at practically the same time as Xavier Tilliette. The analysis will subsequently move on into the more properly theological field. (shrink)
In celebration of the centenary of the Italian philosopher Cornelio Fabro’s birth (1911–1995), this paper investigates the essential theoretical traits that undergird the framework of Fabro’s 1941 texts, by comparing them with Franz Brentano’s (1838–1817) project of renewing Thomism through a new understanding of Aristotle. The secondary literature concerning the comparison of both these authors is almost nonexistent. Our goal is to clarify some of the central issues regarding the relation between Fabro and Brentano through direct textual analysis of unpublished (...) letters exchanged between Fabro and Agostino Gemelli about Brentano and his pupil Carl Stumpf. (shrink)
In the last decades, Systems Biology (including cancer research) has been driven by technology, statistical modelling and bioinformatics. In this paper we try to bring biological and philosophical thinking back. We thus aim at making diferent traditions of thought compatible: (a) causality in epidemiology and in philosophical theorizing—notably, the “sufcient-component-cause framework” and the “mark transmission” approach; (b) new acquisitions about disease pathogenesis, e.g. the “branched model” in cancer, and the role of biomarkers in this process; (c) the burgeoning of omics (...) research, with a large number of “signals” and of associations that need to be interpreted. In the paper we summarize frst the current views on carcinogenesis, and then explore the relevance of current philosophical interpretations of “cancer causes”. We try to ofer a unifying framework to incorporate biomarkers and omic data into causal models, referring to a position called “evidential pluralism”. According to this view, causal reasoning is based on both “evidence of diference-making” (e.g. associations) and on “evidence of underlying biological mechanisms”. We conceptualize the way scientists detect and trace signals in terms of information transmission, which is a generalization of the mark transmission theory developed by philosopher Wesley Salmon. Our approach is capable of helping us conceptualize how heterogeneous factors such as micro and macro-biological and psycho-social—are causally linked. This is important not only to understand cancer etiology, but also to design public health policies that target the right causal factors at the macro-level. (shrink)
Why do ideas of how mechanisms relate to causality and probability differ so much across the sciences? Can progress in understanding the tools of causal inference in some sciences lead to progress in others? This book tackles these questions and others concerning the use of causality in the sciences.
The purpose of this qualitative study was to analyse nurses’ professional dignity in their everyday working lives. We explored the factors that affect nursing professional dignity in practice that emerge in relationships with health professionals, among clinical nurses working in hospitals and in community settings in central Italy. The main themes identified were: (i) nursing professional dignity perceived as an achievement; (ii) recognition of dignity beyond professional roles. These two concepts are interconnected. This study provides insights into professional dignity in (...) nursing being perceived as an achievement linked to the intrinsic dignity of every human being. The ‘nursing professional dignity perceived as an achievement’ was perceived as having declined in different social factors. Some factors of nursing professional dignity perceived as an achievement were attained more easily in community settings. ‘Recognition of dignity beyond professional roles’ underpins the intrinsic dignity as an expression of humanity, embedded in persons regardless of any profession, and values, such as: respect, moral integrity, humility, working conscientiously and kindness. (shrink)
The purpose of this qualitative study was to analyse nurses’ professional dignity in their everyday working lives. We explored the factors that affect nursing professional dignity in practice that emerge in relationships with health professionals, among clinical nurses working in hospitals and in community settings in central Italy. The main themes identified were: nursing professional dignity perceived as an achievement; recognition of dignity beyond professional roles. These two concepts are interconnected. This study provides insights into professional dignity in nursing being (...) perceived as an achievement linked to the intrinsic dignity of every human being. The ‘nursing professional dignity perceived as an achievement’ was perceived as having declined in different social factors. Some factors of nursing professional dignity perceived as an achievement were attained more easily in community settings. ‘Recognition of dignity beyond professional roles’ underpins the intrinsic dignity as an expression of humanity, embedded in persons regardless of any profession, and values, such as: respect, moral integrity, humility, working conscientiously and kindness. (shrink)
For four decades, research on the role and responsibilities of business in society has centered on the business case for corporate social responsibility (CSR) and an increasing number of studies on the corporate social performance (CSP)—corporate financial performance (CFP) link emerged leading to controversial results. Heeding the call for a deeper understanding of the mechanisms linking certain CSR efforts to certain performance outcomes, this study provides a stakeholder-based organizing framework rooted in an extensive review of existing literature on the link (...) between CSP and CFP. In so doing, we aim at guiding research and practice toward less simplistic understandings of the CSP–CFP connection, thus advancing the debate over the consequences of voluntary integrating CSR into business operations and into relationships with stakeholders. By disentangling specific drivers and outcomes of the CSP–CFP link, we underline the importance of setting clear boundaries and specifying levels of analysis to generate comparable results. (shrink)
A shared problem across the sciences is to make sense of correlational data coming from observations and/or from experiments. Arguably, this means establishing when correlations are causal and when they are not. This is an old problem in philosophy. This paper, narrowing down the scope to quantitative causal analysis in social science, reformulates the problem in terms of the validity of statistical models. Two strategies to make sense of correlational data are presented: first, a 'structural strategy', the goal of which (...) is to model and test causal structures that explain correlational data; second, a 'manipulationist or interventionist strategy', that hinges upon the notion of invariance under intervention. It is argued that while the former can offer a solution the latter cannot. (shrink)
Research in the field of management has increasingly focused on strategies and tools related to corporate sustainability. Of the tools examined, codes of ethics have been found to play a primary role. Many studies have investigated the content of such codes, as well as their capacity to condition the behaviour of people within organizations. However, few studies have considered the intrinsic quality of codes of ethics. This study aims to investigate the impact that specific factors—firm size, degree of internationalization and (...) industry effect—can have on the quality of codes of ethics. Based on a sample of 248 listed Italian companies, the results of the empirical analysis show that the quality standard is particularly high in larger companies and in those firms operating in industries in which relationships established with critical stakeholders—and disclosure to those stakeholders—play a crucial role. These results have interesting implications for both researchers and practitioners. (shrink)
This paper deals with causal analysis in the social sciences. We first present a conceptual framework according to which causal analysis is based on a rationale of variation and invariance, and not only on regularity. We then develop a formal framework for causal analysis by means of structural modelling. Within this framework we approach causality in terms of exogeneity in a structural conditional model based which is based on (i) congruence with background knowledge, (ii) invariance under a large variety of (...) environmental changes, and (iii) model fit. We also tackle the issue of confounding and show how latent confounders can play havoc with exogeneity. This framework avoids making untestable metaphysical claims about causal relations and yet remains useful for cognitive and action-oriented goals. (shrink)
Causal analysis in the social sciences takes advantage of a variety of methods and of a multi-fold source of information and evidence. This pluralistic methodology and source of information raises the question of whether we should accordingly have a pluralistic metaphysics and epistemology. This paper focuses on epistemology and argues that a pluralistic methodology and evidence dont entail a pluralistic epistemology. It will be shown that causal models employ a single rationale of testing, based on the notion of variation. Further, (...) I shall argue that this monistic epistemology is also involved in alternative philosophical theories of causation. (shrink)
Causal contextualism holds that sentences of the form ‘c causes e’ have context-sensitive truth-conditions. We consider four arguments invoked by Jonathan Schaffer in favor of this view. First, he argues that his brand of contextualism helps solve puzzles about transitivity. Second, he contends that how one describes the relata of the causal relation sometimes affects the truth of one’s claim. Third, Schaffer invokes the phenomenon of contrastive focus to conclude that causal statements implicitly designate salient alternatives to the cause and (...) effect. Fourth, he claims that the appropriateness of a causal statement depends on what is contextually taken for granted or made salient. We show that causal invariantism can explain these linguistic data at least as well as contextualism. We then argue that pace Schaffer, some causal sentences are always correct and can never be plausibly denied, regardless of the context. (shrink)
Drawing from ethnographic, empirical, and historical / cultural perspectives, we examine the extent to which visual aspects of music contribute to the communication that takes place between performers and their listeners. First, we introduce a framework for understanding how media and genres shape aural and visual experiences of music. Second, we present case studies of two performances, and describe the relation between visual and aural aspects of performance. Third, we report empirical evidence that visual aspects of performance reliably inﬂuence perceptions (...) of musical structure and affective interpretations of music. Finally, we trace new and old media trajectories of aural and visual dimensions of music, and highlight how our conceptions, perceptions and appreciation of music are intertwined with technological innovation and media deployment strategies. (shrink)
Social research, from economics to demography and epidemiology, makes extensive use of statistical models in order to establish causal relations. The question arises as to what guarantees the causal interpretation of such models. In this paper we focus on econometrics and advance the view that causal models are ‘augmented’ statistical models that incorporate important causal information which contributes to their causal interpretation. The primary objective of this paper is to argue that causal claims are established on the basis of a (...) plurality of evidence. We discuss the consequences of ‘evidential pluralism’ in the context of econometric modelling. (shrink)