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James Woodward [79]James F. Woodward [26]Jim Woodward [20]J. Woodward [7]
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Profile: James Woodward (University of Pittsburgh)
  1. Making Things Happen: A Theory of Causal Explanation.James Woodward - 2003 - Oxford University Press.
    Woodward's long awaited book is an attempt to construct a comprehensive account of causation explanation that applies to a wide variety of causal and explanatory claims in different areas of science and everyday life. The book engages some of the relevant literature from other disciplines, as Woodward weaves together examples, counterexamples, criticisms, defenses, objections, and replies into a convincing defense of the core of his theory, which is that we can analyze causation by appeal to the notion of manipulation.
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  2. Causation in Biology: Stability, Specificity, and the Choice of Levels of Explanation.James Woodward - 2010 - Biology and Philosophy 25 (3):287-318.
    This paper attempts to elucidate three characteristics of causal relationships that are important in biological contexts. Stability has to do with whether a causal relationship continues to hold under changes in background conditions. Proportionality has to do with whether changes in the state of the cause “line up” in the right way with changes in the state of the effect and with whether the cause and effect are characterized in a way that contains irrelevant detail. Specificity is connected both to (...)
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  3. What is a Mechanism? A Counterfactual Account.Jim Woodward - 2002 - Proceedings of the Philosophy of Science Association 2002 (3):S366-S377.
    This paper presents a counterfactual account of what a mechanism is. Mechanisms consist of parts, the behavior of which conforms to generalizations that are invariant under interventions, and which are modular in the sense that it is possible in principle to change the behavior of one part independently of the others. Each of these features can be captured by the truth of certain counterfactuals.
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  4. Interventionism and Causal Exclusion.James Woodward - 2015 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 91 (2):303-347.
    A number of writers, myself included, have recently argued that an “interventionist” treatment of causation of the sort defended in Woodward, 2003 can be used to cast light on so-called “causal exclusion” arguments. This interventionist treatment of causal exclusion has in turn been criticized by other philosophers. This paper responds to these criticisms. It describes an interventionist framework for thinking about causal relationships when supervenience relations are present. I contend that this framework helps us to see that standard arguments for (...)
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  5. Explanation and Invariance in the Special Sciences.James Woodward - 2000 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 51 (2):197-254.
    This paper describes an alternative to the common view that explanation in the special sciences involves subsumption under laws. According to this alternative, whether or not a generalization can be used to explain has to do with whether it is invariant rather than with whether it is lawful. A generalization is invariant if it is stable or robust in the sense that it would continue to hold under a relevant if it is stable or robust in the sense that it (...)
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  6. Mechanistic Explanation: Its Scope and Limits.James Woodward - 2013 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 87 (1):39-65.
    This paper explores the question of whether all or most explanations in biology are, or ideally should be, ‘mechanistic’. I begin by providing an account of mechanistic explanation, making use of the interventionist ideas about causation I have developed elsewhere. This account emphasizes the way in which mechanistic explanations, at least in the biological sciences, integrate difference-making and spatio-temporal information, and exhibit what I call fine-tunedness of organization. I also emphasize the role played by modularity conditions in mechanistic explanation. I (...)
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  7. Explanatory Generalizations, Part I: A Counterfactual Account.James Woodward & Christopher Hitchcock - 2003 - Noûs 37 (1):1–24.
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  8. Saving the Phenomena.James Bogen & James Woodward - 1988 - Philosophical Review 97 (3):303-352.
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  9.  71
    Some Varieties of Robustness.Jim Woodward - 2006 - Journal of Economic Methodology 13 (2):219-240.
    It is widely believed that robustness (of inferences, measurements, models, phenomena and relationships discovered in empirical investigation etc.) is a Good Thing. However, there are many different notions of robustness. These often differ both in their normative credentials and in the conditions that warrant their deployment. Failure to distinguish among these notions can result in the uncritical transfer of considerations which support one notion to contexts in which another notion is being deployed. This paper surveys several different notions of robustness (...)
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  10. Folk Psychology is Here to Stay.Terence E. Horgan & James F. Woodward - 1985 - Philosophical Review 94 (April):197-225.
  11.  66
    Response to Strevens.Jim Woodward - 2008 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 77 (1):193-212.
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  12.  59
    Independence, Invariance and the Causal Markov Condition.DM Hausman & J. Woodward - 1999 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 50 (4):521-583.
    This essay explains what the Causal Markov Condition says and defends the condition from the many criticisms that have been launched against it. Although we are skeptical about some of the applications of the Causal Markov Condition, we argue that it is implicit in the view that causes can be used to manipulate their effects and that it cannot be surrendered without surrendering this view of causation.
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  13. Explanatory Generalizations, Part II: Plumbing Explanatory Depth.Christopher Hitchcock & James Woodward - 2003 - Noûs 37 (2):181–199.
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  14. Mental Causation and Neural Mechanisms.James Woodward - 2008 - In Jakob Hohwy & Jesper Kallestrup (eds.), Being Reduced: New Essays on Reduction, Explanation, and Causation. Oxford University Press.
    This paper discusses some issues concerning the relationship between the mental and the physical, including the so-called causal exclusion argument, within the framework of a broadly interventionist approach to causation.
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  15. There is No Such Thing as a Ceteris Paribus Law.James Woodward - 2002 - Erkenntnis 57 (3):303Ð328.
    In this paper I criticize the commonly accepted idea that the generalizations of the special sciences should be construed as ceteris paribus laws. This idea rests on mistaken assumptions about the role of laws in explanation and their relation to causal claims. Moreover, the major proposals in the literature for the analysis of ceteris paribus laws are, on their own terms, complete failures. I sketch a more adequate alternative account of the content of causal generalizations in the special sciences which (...)
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  16. The Structure and Dynamics of Scientific Theories: A Hierarchical Bayesian Perspective.Henderson Leah, D. Goodman Noah, B. Tenenbaum Joshua & F. Woodward James - 2010 - Philosophy of Science 77 (2):172-200.
    Hierarchical Bayesian models (HBMs) provide an account of Bayesian inference in a hierarchically structured hypothesis space. Scientific theories are plausibly regarded as organized into hierarchies in many cases, with higher levels sometimes called ‘paradigms’ and lower levels encoding more specific or concrete hypotheses. Therefore, HBMs provide a useful model for scientific theory change, showing how higher‐level theory change may be driven by the impact of evidence on lower levels. HBMs capture features described in the Kuhnian tradition, particularly the idea that (...)
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  17.  9
    What Is a Mechanism? A Counterfactual Account.Jim Woodward - 2002 - Philosophy of Science 69 (S3):S366-S377.
    This paper presents a counterfactual account of what a mechanism is. Mechanisms consist of parts, the behavior of which conforms to generalizations that are invariant under interventions, and which are modular in the sense that it is possible in principle to change the behavior of one part independently of the others. Each of these features can be captured by the truth of certain counterfactuals.
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  18. Sensitive and Insensitive Causation.James Woodward - 2006 - Philosophical Review 115 (1):1-50.
  19. Mechanisms Revisited.James Woodward - 2011 - Synthese 183 (3):409-427.
    This paper defends an interventionist treatment of mechanisms and contrasts this with Waskan (forthcoming). Interventionism embodies a difference-making conception of causation. I contrast such conceptions with geometrical/mechanical or “actualist” conceptions, associating Waskan’s proposals with the latter. It is argued that geometrical/mechanical conceptions of causation cannot replace difference-making conceptions in characterizing the behavior of mechanisms, but that some of the intuitions behind the geometrical/mechanical approach can be captured by thinking in terms of spatio-temporally organized difference-making information.
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  20. Causation and Manipulability.James Woodward - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Manipulablity theories of causation, according to which causes are to be regarded as handles or devices for manipulating effects, have considerable intuitive appeal and are popular among social scientists and statisticians. This article surveys several prominent versions of such theories advocated by philosophers, and the many difficulties they face. Philosophical statements of the manipulationist approach are generally reductionist in aspiration and assign a central role to human action. These contrast with recent discussions employing a broadly manipulationist framework for understanding causation, (...)
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  21. Law and Explanation in Biology: Invariance is the Kind of Stability That Matters.Jim Woodward - 2001 - Philosophy of Science 68 (1):1-20.
    This paper develops an account of explanation in biology which does not involve appeal to laws of nature, at least as traditionally conceived. Explanatory generalizations in biology must satisfy a requirement that I call invariance, but need not satisfy most of the other standard criteria for lawfulness. Once this point is recognized, there is little motivation for regarding such generalizations as laws of nature. Some of the differences between invariance and the related notions of stability and resiliency, due respectively to (...)
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  22. Causation with a Human Face.James Woodward - 2007 - In Huw Price & Richard Corry (eds.), Causation, Physics, and the Constitution of Reality: Russell's Republic Revisited. Oxford University Press.
    What is the relationship between, on the one hand, the sorts of causal claims found in the special sciences (and in common sense) and, on the other hand, the world as described by physics? A standard picture goes like this: the fundamental laws of physics are causal laws in the sense that they can be interpreted as telling us that realizations of one set of physical factors or properties “causes” realizations of other properties. Causal claims in the special sciences are (...)
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  23.  74
    The Problem of Variable Choice.James Woodward - 2016 - Synthese 193 (4):1047-1072.
    This paper explores some issues about the choice of variables for causal representation and explanation. Depending on which variables a researcher employs, many causal inference procedures and many treatments of causation will reach different conclusions about which causal relationships are present in some system of interest. The assumption of this paper is that some choices of variables are superior to other choices for the purpose of causal analysis. A number of possible criteria for variable choice are described and defended within (...)
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  24.  72
    Modularity and the Causal Markov Condition: A Restatement.Daniel M. Hausman & James Woodward - 2004 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 55 (1):147-161.
    expose some gaps and difficulties in the argument for the causal Markov condition in our essay ‘Independence, Invariance and the Causal Markov Condition’ ([1999]), and we are grateful for the opportunity to reformulate our position. In particular, Cartwright disagrees vigorously with many of the theses we advance about the connection between causation and manipulation. Although we are not persuaded by some of her criticisms, we shall confine ourselves to showing how our central argument can be reconstructed and to casting doubt (...)
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  25.  3
    II—James Woodward: Mechanistic Explanation: Its Scope and Limits.James Woodward - 2013 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 87 (1):39-65.
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  26.  93
    Data and Phenomena.Jim Woodward - 1989 - Synthese 79 (3):393 - 472.
  27. The Non-Identity Problem.James Woodward - 1986 - Ethics 96 (4):804-831.
  28.  9
    Just Do It? Investigating the Gap Between Prediction and Action in Toddlers’ Causal Inferences.Elizabeth Baraff Bonawitz, Darlene Ferranti, Rebecca Saxe, Alison Gopnik, Andrew N. Meltzoff, James Woodward & Laura E. Schulz - 2010 - Cognition 115 (1):104-117.
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  29. Scientific Explanation.James Woodward - 1979 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 30 (1):41-67.
    Issues concerning scientific explanation have been a focus of philosophical attention from Pre- Socratic times through the modern period. However, recent discussion really begins with the development of the Deductive-Nomological (DN) model. This model has had many advocates (including Popper 1935, 1959, Braithwaite 1953, Gardiner, 1959, Nagel 1961) but unquestionably the most detailed and influential statement is due to Carl Hempel (Hempel 1942, 1965, and Hempel & Oppenheim 1948). These papers and the reaction to them have structured subsequent discussion concerning (...)
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  30.  65
    Explanation, Invariance, and Intervention.Jim Woodward - 1997 - Philosophy of Science 64 (4):41.
    This paper defends a counterfactual account of explanation, according to which successful explanation requires tracing patterns of counterfactual dependence of a special sort, involving what I call active counterfactuals. Explanations having this feature must appeal to generalizations that are invariant--stable under certain sorts of changes. These ideas are illustrated by examples drawn from physics and econometrics.
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  31.  74
    Interventionist Theories of Causation in Psychological Perspective.Jim Woodward - 2007 - In Alison Gopnik & Laura Schulz (eds.), Causal Learning: Psychology, Philosophy, and Computation. Oxford University Press. pp. 19--36.
    Interventionist Theories of Causation in Psychological Perspective.
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  32. Moral Intuition: Its Neural Substrates and Normative Significance.James Woodward & John Allman - 2007 - Journal of Physiology-Paris 101 (4-6):179-202.
    We use the phrase "moral intuition" to describe the appearance in consciousness of moral judgments or assessments without any awareness of having gone through a conscious reasoning process that produces this assessment. This paper investigates the neural substrates of moral intuition. We propose that moral intuitions are part of a larger set of social intuitions that guide us through complex, highly uncertain and rapidly changing social interactions. Such intuitions are shaped by learning. The neural substrates for moral intuition include fronto-insular, (...)
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  33. Methodology, Ontology, and Interventionism.James Woodward - 2015 - Synthese 192 (11):3577-3599.
    This paper defends an interventionist account of causation by construing this account as a contribution to methodology, rather than as a set of theses about the ontology or metaphysics of causation. It also uses the topic of causation to raise some more general issues about the relation between, on the one hand, methodology, and, on the other hand, ontology and metaphysics, as these are understood in contemporary philosophical discussion, particularly among so-called analytic metaphysicians. It concludes with the suggestion that issues (...)
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  34. Simplicity in the Best Systems Account of Laws of Nature.J. Woodward - 2014 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 65 (1):91-123.
    This article discusses the role of simplicity and the notion of a best balance of simplicity and strength within the best systems account (BSA) of laws of nature. The article explores whether there is anything in scientific practice that corresponds to the notion of simplicity or to the trade-off between simplicity and strength to which the BSA appeals. Various theoretical rationales for simplicity preferences and their bearing on the identification of laws are also explored. It is concluded that there are (...)
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  35. Data and Phenomena: A Restatement and Defense.James F. Woodward - 2011 - Synthese 182 (1):165-179.
    This paper provides a restatement and defense of the data/ phenomena distinction introduced by Jim Bogen and me several decades ago (e.g., Bogen and Woodward, The Philosophical Review, 303–352, 1988). Additional motivation for the distinction is introduced, ideas surrounding the distinction are clarified, and an attempt is made to respond to several criticisms.
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  36.  61
    Data, Phenomena, and Reliability.Jim Woodward - 2000 - Philosophy of Science 67 (3):179.
    This paper explores how data serve as evidence for phenomena. In contrast to standard philosophical models which invite us to think of evidential relationships as logical relationships, I argue that evidential relationships in the context of data-to-phenomena reasoning are empirical relationships that depend on holding the right sort of pattern of counterfactual dependence between the data and the conclusions investigators reach on the phenomena themselves.
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  37. Agency and Interventionist Theories.James Woodward - 2009 - In Helen Beebee, Christopher Hitchcock & Peter Menzies (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Causation. Oxford University Press.
     
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  38. What Are Moral Intuitions and Why Should We Care About Them? A Neurobiological Perspective.John Allman & Jim Woodward - 2008 - Philosophical Issues 18 (1):164-185.
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  39.  50
    Causation: Interactions Between Philosophical Theories and Psychological Research.James Woodward - 2012 - Philosophy of Science 79 (5):961-972.
  40. Causal Perception and Causal Cognition.James Woodward - 2011 - In Johannes Roessler, Hemdat Lerman & Naomi Eilan (eds.), Perception, Causation, and Objectivity. Oxford University Press.
    This paper explores some issues having to do with the perception of causation. It discusses the role that phenomena that that are associated with causal perception, such as Michottean launching interactions, play within philosophical accounts of causation and also speculates on their possible role in development.
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  41.  48
    Manipulation and the Causal Markov Condition.Daniel Hausman & James Woodward - 2004 - Philosophy of Science 71 (5):846-856.
    This paper explores the relationship between a manipulability conception of causation and the causal Markov condition (CM). We argue that violations of CM also violate widely shared expectations—implicit in the manipulability conception—having to do with the absence of spontaneous correlations. They also violate expectations concerning the connection between independence or dependence relationships in the presence and absence of interventions.
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  42.  12
    Physical Modality, Laws, and Counterfactuals.James Woodward - forthcoming - Synthese:1-23.
    Standard philosophical accounts attempt to understand physical modality either in terms of special metaphysical entities and relationships or in terms of the organization of non-modal information, as in Best Systems Analysis. This paper defends an alternative to both these approaches in which invariance and various independence conditions play a central role. The methodological importance of separating law-claims from claims about initial and boundary conditions is highlighted.
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  43.  81
    A Functional Account of Causation; or, A Defense of the Legitimacy of Causal Thinking by Reference to the Only Standard That Matters—Usefulness.James Woodward - 2014 - Philosophy of Science 81 (5):691-713.
    This essay advocates a “functional” approach to causation and causal reasoning: these are to be understood in terms of the goals and purposes of causal thinking. This approach is distinguished from accounts based on metaphysical considerations or on reconstruction of “intuitions.”.
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  44.  54
    A Theory of Singular Causal Explanation.James Woodward - 1984 - Erkenntnis 21 (3):231 - 262.
  45.  17
    The Chances of Explanation: Causal Explanation in the Social, Medical and Physical Sciences.Paul Humphreys & Jim Woodward - 1993 - Philosophy of Science 60 (4):659.
  46.  12
    Causal Cognition: Physical Connections, Proportionality, and the Role of Normative Theory.James Woodward - unknown
    This paper, like its companion explores some ways in which, on the one hand, normative theorizing about causation and causal reasoning and, on the other, empirical psychological investigations into causal cognition can be mutually illuminating. The paper carries out this exploration in connection with a variety of topics—the role of information about the presence of a “physical connection” between cause and effect in causal judgment, the role of “proportionality” in choosing the appropriate “level” of explanation, and the role of mechanism (...)
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  47. Just Do It? Toddlers' Ability to Integrate Prediction and Action.E. Bonawitz, D. Ferranti, R. Saxe, A. Gopnik, A. Meltzoff, J. Woodward & L. Schulz - 2010 - Cognition 115:104-117.
     
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  48. Cause and Explanation in Psychiatry: An Interventionist Perspective.James Woodward - 2008 - In Kenneth S. Kendler & Josef Parnas (eds.), Philosophical Issues in Psychiatry: Explanation, Phenomenology, and Nosology. Johns Hopkins University Press.
    This paper explores some issues concerning the nature and structure of causal explanation in psychiatry and psychology from the point of view of the “interventionist” theory defended in my book, Making Things Happen. Among the issues is explored is the extent to which candidate causal explanations involving “upper level” or relatively coarse-grained or macroscopic variables such as mental/psychological states (e.g. highly self critical beliefs or low self esteem) or environmental factors (e.g. parental abuse) compete with explanations that instead appeal to (...)
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  49.  52
    Causal Interpretation in Systems of Equations.Jim Woodward - 1999 - Synthese 121 (1-2):199-247.
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  50.  37
    The Causal Mechanical Model of Explanation.James Woodward - 1989 - Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science 13:359-83.
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