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Christopher Hitchcock [63]Christopher Read Hitchcock [13]Christopher R. Hitchcock [5]
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Profile: Christopher Hitchcock (California Institute of Technology)
  1. Cause and Norm.Christopher Hitchcock & Joshua Knobe - 2009 - Journal of Philosophy 106 (11):587-612.
    Much of the philosophical literature on causation has focused on the concept of actual causation, sometimes called token causation. In particular, it is this notion of actual causation that many philosophical theories of causation have attempted to capture.2 In this paper, we address the question: what purpose does this concept serve? As we shall see in the next section, one does not need this concept for purposes of prediction or rational deliberation. What then could the purpose be? We will argue (...)
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  2. Prevention, Preemption, and the Principle of Sufficient Reason.Christopher Hitchcock - 2007 - Philosophical Review 116 (4):495-532.
  3. Explanatory Generalizations, Part I: A Counterfactual Account.James Woodward & Christopher Hitchcock - 2003 - Noûs 37 (1):1–24.
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  4. The Intransitivity of Causation Revealed in Equations and Graphs.Christopher Hitchcock - 2001 - Journal of Philosophy 98 (6):273-299.
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  5.  90
    Beauty and the Bets.Christopher Hitchcock - 2004 - Synthese 139 (3):405 - 420.
    In the Sleeping Beauty problem, Beauty is uncertain whether the outcome of a certain coin toss was heads or tails. One argument suggests that her degree of belief in heads should be 1/3, while a second suggests that it should be 1/2. Prima facie, the argument for 1/2 appears to be stronger. I offer a diachronic Dutch Book argument in favor of 1/3. Even for those who are not routinely persuaded by diachronic Dutch Book arguments, this one has some important (...)
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  6. Prediction Versus Accommodation and the Risk of Overfitting.Christopher Hitchcock & Elliott Sober - 2004 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 55 (1):1-34.
    an observation to formulate a theory, it is no surprise that the resulting theory accurately captures that observation. However, when the theory makes a novel prediction—when it predicts an observation that was not used in its formulation—this seems to provide more substantial confirmation of the theory. This paper presents a new approach to the vexed problem of understanding the epistemic difference between prediction and accommodation. In fact, there are several problems that need to be disentangled; in all of them, the (...)
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  7. Explanatory Generalizations, Part II: Plumbing Explanatory Depth.Christopher Hitchcock & James Woodward - 2003 - Noûs 37 (2):181–199.
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  8. Graded Causation and Defaults.Joseph Y. Halpern & Christopher Hitchcock - 2015 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 66 (2):413-457.
    Recent work in psychology and experimental philosophy has shown that judgments of actual causation are often influenced by consideration of defaults, typicality, and normality. A number of philosophers and computer scientists have also suggested that an appeal to such factors can help deal with problems facing existing accounts of actual causation. This article develops a flexible formal framework for incorporating defaults, typicality, and normality into an account of actual causation. The resulting account takes actual causation to be both graded and (...)
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  9.  79
    A Tale of Two Effects.Christopher Hitchcock - 2001 - Philosophical Review 110 (3):361-396.
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  10. The Role of Contrast in Causal and Explanatory Claims.Christopher Read Hitchcock - 1996 - Synthese 107 (3):395 - 419.
    Following Dretske (1977), there has been a considerable body of literature on the role of contrastive stress in causal claims. Following van Fraassen (1980), there has been a considerable body of literature on the role of contrastive stress in explanations and explanation-requesting why-questions. Amazingly, the two bodies of literature have remained almost entirely disjoint. With an understanding of the contrastive nature of ordinary causal claims, and of the linguistic roles of contrastive stress, it is possible to provide a unified account (...)
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  11. Salmon on Explanatory Relevance.Christopher Read Hitchcock - 1995 - Philosophy of Science 62 (2):304-320.
    One of the motivations for Salmon's (1984) causal theory of explanation was the explanatory irrelevance exhibited by many arguments conforming to Hempel's covering-law models of explanation. However, the nexus of causal processes and interactions characterized by Salmon is not rich enough to supply the necessary conception of explanatory relevance. Salmon's (1994) revised theory, which is briefly criticized on independent grounds, fares no better. There is some possibility that the two-tiered structure of explanation described by Salmon (1984) may be pressed into (...)
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  12.  95
    Of Humean Bondage.Christopher Hitchcock - 2003 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 54 (1):1-25.
    There are many ways of attaching two objects together: for example, they can be connected, linked, tied or bound together; and the connection, link, tie or bind can be made of chain, rope, or cement. Every one of these binding methods has been used as a metaphor for causation. What is the real significance of these metaphors? They express a commitment to a certain way of thinking about causation, summarized in the following thesis: ‘In any concrete situation, there is an (...)
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  13. Structural Equations and Causation: Six Counterexamples.Christopher Hitchcock - 2009 - Philosophical Studies 144 (3):391-401.
    Hall [(2007), Philosophical Studies, 132, 109–136] offers a critique of structural equations accounts of actual causation, and then offers a new theory of his own. In this paper, I respond to Hall’s critique, and present some counterexamples to his new theory. These counterexamples are then diagnosed.
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  14. Making a Difference.Helen Beebee, Christopher Hitchcock & Huw Price (eds.) - forthcoming - Oxford University Press.
     
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  15. The Mishap at Reichenbach Fall: Singular Vs. General Causation.Christopher Read Hitchcock - 1995 - Philosophical Studies 78 (3):257 - 291.
  16.  66
    Conditioning, Intervening, and Decision.Christopher Hitchcock - forthcoming - Synthese (4):1-20.
    Clark Glymour, together with his students Peter Spirtes and Richard Scheines, did pioneering work on graphical causal models . One of the central advances provided by these models is the ability to simply represent the effects of interventions. In an elegant paper , Glymour and his student Christopher Meek applied these methods to problems in decision theory. One of the morals they drew was that causal decision theory should be understood in terms of interventions. I revisit their proposal, and extend (...)
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  17. Three Concepts of Causation.Christopher Hitchcock - 2007 - Philosophy Compass 2 (3):508–516.
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  18. What Russell Got Right.Christopher Hitchcock - 2007 - In Huw Price & Richard Corry (eds.), Causation, Physics, and the Constitution of Reality: Russell's Republic Revisited. Oxford University Press.
  19.  80
    Probabilistic Causation.Christopher Hitchcock - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    “Probabilistic Causation” designates a group of theories that aim to characterize the relationship between cause and effect using the tools of probability theory. The central idea behind these theories is that causes change the probabilities of their effects. This article traces developments in probabilistic causation, including recent developments in causal modeling. A variety of issues within, and objections to, probabilistic theories of causation will also be discussed.
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  20.  91
    A Generalized Probabilistic Theory of Causal Relevance.Christopher Read Hitchcock - 1993 - Synthese 97 (3):335 - 364.
    I advance a new theory of causal relevance, according to which causal claims convey information about conditional probability functions. This theory is motivated by the problem of disjunctive factors, which haunts existing probabilistic theories of causation. After some introductory remarks, I present in Section 3 a sketch of Eells's (1991) probabilistic theory of causation, which provides the framework for much of the discussion. Section 4 explains how the problem of disjunctive factors arises within this framework. After rejecting three proposed solutions, (...)
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  21. Probabilistic Measures of Causal Strength.Branden Fitelson & Christopher Hitchcock - 2011 - In Phyllis McKay Illari Federica Russo (ed.), Causality in the Sciences. Oxford University Press. pp. 600--627.
  22.  28
    Evolutionary and Newtonian Forces.Christopher Hitchcock & Joel D. Velasco - 2014 - Ergo, an Open Access Journal of Philosophy 1 (2):39-77.
    A number of recent papers have criticized what they call the dynamical interpretation of evolutionary theory found in Elliott Sober’s The Nature of Selection. Sober argues that we can think of evolutionary theory as a theory of forces analogous to Newtonian mechanics. These critics argue that there are several important disanalogies between evolutionary and Newtonian forces: Unlike evolutionary forces, Newtonian forces can be considered in isolation, they have source laws, they compose causally in a straightforward way, and they are intermediate (...)
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  23.  37
    Portable Causal Dependence: A Tale of Consilience.Christopher Hitchcock - 2012 - Philosophy of Science 79 (5):942-951.
    This article describes research pursued by members of the McDonnell Collaborative on Causal Learning. A number of members independently converged on a similar idea: one of the central functions served by claims of actual causation is to highlight patterns of dependence that are highly portable into novel contexts. I describe in detail how this idea emerged in my own work and also in that of the psychologist Tania Lombrozo. In addition, I use the occasion to reflect on the nature of (...)
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  24.  34
    Farewell to Binary Causation.Christopher Read Hitchcock - 1996 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 26 (2):267 - 282.
  25. Causal Decision Theory and Decision-Theoretic Causation.Christopher Read Hitchcock - 1996 - Noûs 30 (4):508-526.
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  26.  34
    Compact Representations of Extended Causal Models.Joseph Y. Halpern & Christopher Hitchcock - 2013 - Cognitive Science 37 (6):986-1010.
    Judea Pearl (2000) was the first to propose a definition of actual causation using causal models. A number of authors have suggested that an adequate account of actual causation must appeal not only to causal structure but also to considerations of normality. In Halpern and Hitchcock (2011), we offer a definition of actual causation using extended causal models, which include information about both causal structure and normality. Extended causal models are potentially very complex. In this study, we show how it (...)
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  27.  55
    Events and Times: A Case Study in Means-Ends Metaphysics.Christopher Hitchcock - 2012 - Philosophical Studies 160 (1):79-96.
    There is a tradition, tracing back to Kant, of recasting metaphysical questions as questions about the utility of a conceptual scheme, linguistic framework, or methodological rule for achieving some particular end. Following in this tradition, I propose a ‘means-ends metaphysics ’, in which one rigorously demonstrates the suitability of some conceptual framework for achieving a specified goal. I illustrate this approach using a debate about the nature of events. Specifically, the question is whether the time at which an event occurs (...)
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  28.  1
    Causality: Models, Reasoning and Inference.Christopher Hitchcock & Judea Pearl - 2001 - Philosophical Review 110 (4):639.
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  29.  31
    Thought Experiments, Real Experiments, and the Expertise Objection.Christopher Hitchcock - 2012 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 2 (2):205-218.
    It is a commonplace that in philosophy, intuitions supply evidence for and against philosophical theories. Recent work in experimental philosophy has brought to bear the intuitions of philosophically naïve subjects in a number of different ways. One line of response to this work has been to claim that philosophers have expertise that privileges their intuitive judgments, and allows them to disregard the judgments of non-experts. This expertise is supposed to be analogous to the expertise of the mathematician or the physicist. (...)
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  30.  42
    Trumping and Contrastive Causation.Christopher Hitchcock - 2011 - Synthese 181 (2):227 - 240.
    Jonathan Schaffer introduced a new type of causal structure called 'trumping'. According to Schaffer, trumping is a species of causal preemption. Both Schaffer and I have argued that causation has a contrastive structure. In this paper, I analyze the structure of trumping cases from the perspective of contrastive causation, and argue that the case is much more complex than it first appears. Nonetheless, there is little reason to regard trumping as a species of causal preemption.
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  31.  85
    The Shooting-Room Paradox and Conditionalizing on Measurably Challenged Sets.Paul Bartha & Christopher Hitchcock - 1999 - Synthese 118 (3):403-437.
    We provide a solution to the well-known “Shooting-Room” paradox, developed by John Leslie in connection with his Doomsday Argument. In the “Shooting-Room” paradox, the death of an individual is contingent upon an event that has a 1/36 chance of occurring, yet the relative frequency of death in the relevant population is 0.9. There are two intuitively plausible arguments, one concluding that the appropriate subjective probability of death is 1/36, the other that this probability is 0.9. How are these two values (...)
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  32. No One Knows the Date or the Hour: An Unorthodox Application of Rev. Bayes's Theorem.Paul Bartha & Christopher Hitchcock - 1999 - Philosophy of Science 66 (3):353.
    Carter and Leslie (1996) have argued, using Bayes's theorem, that our being alive now supports the hypothesis of an early 'Doomsday'. Unlike some critics (Eckhardt 1997), we accept their argument in part: given that we exist, our existence now indeed favors 'Doom sooner' over 'Doom later'. The very fact of our existence, however, favors 'Doom later'. In simple cases, a hypothetical approach to the problem of 'old evidence' shows that these two effects cancel out: our existence now yields no information (...)
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  33. Causal Explanation and Scientific Realism.Christopher Read Hitchcock - 1992 - Erkenntnis 37 (2):151 - 178.
    It is widely believed that many of the competing accounts of scientific explanation have ramifications which are relevant to the scientific realism debate. I claim that the two issues are orthogonal. For definiteness, I consider Cartwright's argument that causal explanations secure belief in theoretical entities. In Section I, van Fraassen's anti-realism is reviewed; I argue that this anti-realism is, prima facie, consistent with a causal account of explanation. Section II reviews Cartwright's arguments. In Section III, it is argued that causal (...)
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  34.  41
    What is the 'Cause' in Causal Decision Theory?Christopher Hitchcock - 2013 - Erkenntnis 78 (1):129-146.
    A simple counterfactual theory of causation fails because of problems with cases of preemption. This might lead us to expect that preemption will raise problems for counterfactual theories of other concepts that have a causal dimension. Indeed, examples are easy to find. But there is one case where we do not find this. Several versions of causal decision theory are formulated using counterfactuals. This might lead us to expect that these theories will yield the wrong recommendations in cases of preemption. (...)
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  35.  48
    Theories of Causation and the Causal Exclusion Argument.Christopher Hitchcock - 2012 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 19 (5-6):5-6.
    There are a wide variety of theories of causation available in the philosophical literature. For the philosopher working in philosophy of mind, who makes use of causal concepts, what is to be made of this embarrassment of riches? By considering a variety of theoretical perspectives, she can discover which principles or assumptions about causation are robust, and which hold only within particular frameworks. In particular, she should be suspicious when the different premises in an argument can only be made true (...)
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  36.  1
    The Intransitivity of Causation Revealed in Equations and Graphs.Christopher Hitchcock - 2001 - Journal of Philosophy 98 (6):273.
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  37. Reflections on Reflection: Van Fraassen on Belief.Mitchell S. Green & Christopher R. Hitchcock - 1994 - Synthese 98 (2):297 - 324.
    In Belief and the Will, van Fraassen employed a diachronic Dutch Book argument to support a counterintuitive principle called Reflection. There and subsequently van Fraassen has put forth Reflection as a linchpin for his views in epistemology and the philosophy of science, and for the voluntarism (first-person reports of subjective probability are undertakings of commitments) that he espouses as an alternative to descriptivism (first-person reports of subjective probability are merely self-descriptions). Christensen and others have attacked Reflection, taking it to have (...)
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  38. Urbach on the Laws of Nature.Christopher Hitchcock - 1992 - Analysis 52 (2):61 - 64.
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  39. Causation.Christopher Hitchcock - 2008 - In Martin Curd & Stathis Psillos (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Science. Routledge.
     
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  40.  53
    Causal Generalizations and Good Advice.Christopher Hitchcock - 2001 - The Monist 84 (2):218-241.
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  41.  29
    The Lovely and the Probable. [REVIEW]Christopher Hitchcock - 2007 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 74 (2):433–440.
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  42.  48
    Problems for the Conserved Quantity Theory.Christopher Hitchcock - 2009 - The Monist 92 (1):72-93.
    The conserved quantity theory of causation aims to analyze causal processes and interactions in terms of conserved quantities. In order to be successful, the theory must correctly distinguish between causal processes and interactions, on the one hand, and pseudoprocesses and mere intersections on the other.Moreover, it must do this while satisfying two further criteria: it must avoid circularity; and the appeal to conserved quantities must not be redundant. I argue that the theory is not successful in meeting these criteria.
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  43. Contrastive Explanation.Christopher Hitchcock - 2012 - In Martijn Blaauw (ed.), Contrastivism in Philosophy: New Perspectives. Routledge.
     
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  44.  13
    Updating on the Credences of Others: Disagreement, Agreement, and Synergy.Kenny Easwaran, Luke Fenton-Glynn, Christopher Hitchcock & Joel D. Velasco - 2016 - Philosophers' Imprint 16 (11).
    We introduce a family of rules for adjusting one’s credences in response to learning the credences of others. These rules have a number of desirable features. 1. They yield the posterior credences that would result from updating by standard Bayesian conditionalization on one’s peers’ reported credences if one’s likelihood function takes a particular simple form. 2. In the simplest form, they are symmetric among the agents in the group. 3. They map neatly onto the familiar Condorcet voting results. 4. They (...)
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  45.  32
    The Palmer House Hilton Hotel, Chicago, Illinois February 18–20, 2010.Kenneth Easwaran, Philip Ehrlich, David Ross, Christopher Hitchcock, Peter Spirtes, Roy T. Cook, Jean-Pierre Marquis, Stewart Shapiro & Royt Cook - 2010 - Bulletin of Symbolic Logic 16 (3).
  46.  35
    The Mechanist and the Snail.Christopher Read Hitchcock - 1996 - Philosophical Studies 84 (1):91 - 105.
    Introduction: One of the most influential theories of scientific explanation to have emerged in the past two decades is Salmon's causal/mechanical theory (Salmon 1984). According to this account, scientific explanations describe a network of causal processes and interactions. In this paper, I will use an example from evolutionary biology to argue that the causal nexus, as characterized by Salmon, is not rich enough to account for many causal explanations in the sciences.
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  47. Actual Causation and the Art of Modeling.Joseph Halpern & Christopher Hitchcock - 2010 - In Causality, Probability, and Heuristics: A Tribute to Judea Pearl. London: College Publications. pp. 383-406.
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  48.  69
    Contemporary Debates in Philosophy of Science.Christopher Hitchcock (ed.) - 2004 - Blackwell.
    Showcasing original arguments for well-defined positions, as well as clear and concise statements of sophisticated philosophical views, this volume is an ...
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  49.  78
    Causal Processes and Interactions: What Are They and What Are They Good For?Christopher Hitchcock - 2004 - Philosophy of Science 71 (5):932-941.
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  50.  69
    Review: The Mind's Arrows: Bayes Nets and Graphical Causal Models in Psychology. [REVIEW]Christopher Hitchcock - 2003 - Mind 112 (446):340-343.
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