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  1. How the Laws of Physics Lie.Nancy Cartwright - 1983 - Oxford University Press.
    In this sequence of philosophical essays about natural science, the author argues that fundamental explanatory laws, the deepest and most admired successes of modern physics, do not in fact describe regularities that exist in nature. Cartwright draws from many real-life examples to propound a novel distinction: that theoretical entities, and the complex and localized laws that describe them, can be interpreted realistically, but the simple unifying laws of basic theory cannot.
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  2.  78
    Nature's Capacities and Their Measurement.Nancy Cartwright - 1989 - Oxford University Press.
    Ever since David Hume, empiricists have barred powers and capacities from nature. In this book Cartwright argues that capacities are essential in our scientific world, and, contrary to empiricist orthodoxy, that they can meet sufficiently strict demands for testability. Econometrics is one discipline where probabilities are used to measure causal capacities, and the technology of modern physics provides several examples of testing capacities (such as lasers). Cartwright concludes by applying the lessons of the book about capacities and probabilities to the (...)
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  3. Are Rcts the Gold Standard?Nancy Cartwright - 2007 - Biosocieties 1:11-20.
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  4.  61
    Another Philosopher Looks at Quantum Mechanics, or What Quantum Theory Is Not.Nancy Cartwright - 2005 - In Yemima Ben-Menahem (ed.), Hilary Putnam. Cambridge University Press.
  5. Causation: One Word, Many Things.Nancy Cartwright - 2004 - Philosophy of Science 71 (5):805-819.
    We currently have on offer a variety of different theories of causation. Many are strikingly good, providing detailed and plausible treatments of exemplary cases; and all suffer from clear counterexamples. I argue that, contra Hume and Kant, this is because causation is not a single, monolithic concept. There are different kinds of causal relations imbedded in different kinds of systems, readily described using thick causal concepts. Our causal theories pick out important and useful structures that fit some familiar cases—cases we (...)
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  6.  93
    The Limitations of Randomized Controlled Trials in Predicting Effectiveness.Nancy Cartwright & Eileen Munro - 2010 - Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice 16 (2):260-266.
    What kinds of evidence reliably support predictions of effectiveness for health and social care interventions? There is increasing reliance, not only for health care policy and practice but also for more general social and economic policy deliberation, on evidence that comes from studies whose basic logic is that of JS Mill's method of difference. These include randomized controlled trials, case–control studies, cohort studies, and some uses of causal Bayes nets and counterfactual-licensing models like ones commonly developed in econometrics. The topic (...)
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  7.  62
    Presidential Address: Will This Policy Work for You? Predicting Effectiveness Better: How Philosophy Helps.Nancy Cartwright - 2012 - Philosophy of Science 79 (5):973-989.
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  8. Causal Laws and Effective Strategies.Nancy Cartwright - 1979 - Noûs 13 (4):419-437.
    La autora presenta algunas criticas generales al proyecto de reducir las leyes causales a probabilidades. Además, muestra que las leyes causales son imprescindibles para poder diferenciar las strategias efectivas de las que no lo son y da un criterio para considerar cuando podemos deducir causalidad a través de datos estadísticos.
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  9. Theories: Tools Versus Models.Mauricio Suárez & Nancy Cartwright - 2007 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 39 (1):62-81.
    In “The Toolbox of Science” (1995) together with Towfic Shomar we advocated a form of instrumentalism about scientific theories. We separately developed this view further in a number of subsequent works. Steven French, James Ladyman, Otavio Bueno and Newton Da Costa (FLBD) have since written at least eight papers and a book criticising our work. Here we defend ourselves. First we explain what we mean in denying that models derive from theory – and why their failure to do so should (...)
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  10. Against Modularity, the Causal Markov Condition, and Any Link Between the Two: Comments on Hausman and Woodward.Nancy Cartwright - 2002 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 53 (3):411-453.
    In their rich and intricate paper ‘Independence, Invariance, and the Causal Markov Condition’, Daniel Hausman and James Woodward ([1999]) put forward two independent theses, which they label ‘level invariance’ and ‘manipulability’, and they claim that, given a specific set of assumptions, manipulability implies the causal Markov condition. These claims are interesting and important, and this paper is devoted to commenting on them. With respect to level invariance, I argue that Hausman and Woodward's discussion is confusing because, as I point out, (...)
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  11.  68
    Probability and Causality: Why Hume and Indeterminism Don't Mix.John Dupré & Nancy Cartwright - 1988 - Noûs 22 (4):521-536.
  12.  67
    Ceteris Paribus Laws Need Machines to Generate Them.John Pemberton & Nancy Cartwright - 2014 - Erkenntnis 79 (10):1745-1758.
    Most of the regularities that get represented as ‘laws’ in our sciences arise from, and are to be found regularly associated with, the successful operation of a nomological machine. Reference to the nomological machine must be included in the cp-clause of a cp-law if the entire cp-claim is to be true. We agree, for example, ‘ceteris paribus aspirins cure headaches’, but insist that they can only do so when swallowed by someone with the right physiological makeup and a headache. Besides (...)
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  13. What Are Randomised Controlled Trials Good For?Nancy Cartwright - 2010 - Philosophical Studies 147 (1):59 - 70.
    Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) are widely taken as the gold standard for establishing causal conclusions. Ideally conducted they ensure that the treatment ‘causes’ the outcome—in the experiment. But where else? This is the venerable question of external validity. I point out that the question comes in two importantly different forms: Is the specific causal conclusion warranted by the experiment true in a target situation? What will be the result of implementing the treatment there? This paper explains how the probabilistic theory (...)
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  14. In Favor of Laws That Are Not Ceteris Paribus After All.Nancy Cartwright - 2002 - Erkenntnis 57 (3):425Ð439.
    Opponents of ceteris paribus laws are apt to complain that the laws are vague and untestable. Indeed, claims to this effect are made by Earman, Roberts and Smith in this volume. I argue that these kinds of claims rely on too narrow a view about what kinds of concepts we can and do regularly use in successful sciences and on too optimistic a view about the extent of application of even our most successful non-ceteris paribus laws. When it comes to (...)
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  15.  94
    What Is Wrong With Bayes Nets?Nancy Cartwright - 2001 - The Monist 84 (2):242-264.
  16. Evidence-Based Policy: What's to Be Done About Relevance? [REVIEW]Nancy Cartwright - 2009 - Philosophical Studies 143 (1):127 - 136.
    How can philosophy of science be of more practical use? One thing we can do is provide practicable advice about how to determine when one empirical claim is relevant to the truth of another; i.e., about evidential relevance. This matters especially for evidence-based policy, where advice is thin—and misleading—about how to tell what counts as evidence for policy effectiveness. This paper argues that good efficacy results (as in randomized controlled trials), which are all the rage now, are only a very (...)
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  17.  99
    The Tool Box of Science: Tools for the Building of Models with a Superconductivity Example.Nancy Cartwright, Towfic Shomar & Mauricio Suárez - 1995 - Poznan Studies in the Philosophy of the Sciences and the Humanities 44:137-149.
    We call for a new philosophical conception of models in physics. Some standard conceptions take models to be useful approximations to theorems, that are the chief means to test theories. Hence the heuristics of model building is dictated by the requirements and practice of theory-testing. In this paper we argue that a theory-driven view of models can not account for common procedures used by scientists to model phenomena. We illustrate this thesis with a case study: the construction of one of (...)
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  18. If No Capacities Then No Credible Worlds. But Can Models Reveal Capacities?Nancy Cartwright - 2009 - Erkenntnis 70 (1):45-58.
    This paper argues that even when simple analogue models picture parallel worlds, they generally still serve as isolating tools. But there are serious obstacles that often stop them isolating in just the right way. These are obstacles that face any model that functions as a thought-experiment but they are especially pressing for economic models because of the paucity of economic principles. Because of the paucity of basic principles, economic models are rich in structural assumptions. Without these no interesting conclusions can (...)
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  19. Well‐Ordered Science: Evidence for Use.Nancy Cartwright - 2006 - Philosophy of Science 73 (5):981-990.
    This article agrees with Philip Kitcher that we should aim for a well-ordered science, one that answers the right questions in the right ways. Crucial to this is to address questions of use: Which scientific account is right for which system in which circumstances? This is a difficult question: evidence that may support a scientific claim in one context may not support it in another. Drawing on examples in physics and other sciences, this article argues that work on the warrant (...)
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  20.  76
    False Idealisation: A Philosophical Threat to Scientific Method.Nancy Cartwright - 1995 - Philosophical Studies 77 (2-3):339 - 352.
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  21. Idealization Xii:: Correcting the Model. Idealization and Abstraction in the Sciences.Martin R. Jones & Nancy Cartwright - 2005 - Rodopi.
    ContentsPrefaceAnalytical Table of ContentsKevin D. HOOVER: Quantitative Evaluation of Idealized Models in the New Classical MacroeconomicsJohn PEMBERTON: Why Idealized Models in Economics Have Limited UseAmos FUNKENSTEIN: The Revival of Aristotle’s NatureJames R. GRIESEMER: The Informational Gene and the Substantial Body: On the Generalization of Evolutionary Theory byionNancy J. NERSESSIAN: Abstraction via Generic Modeling in Concept Formation in ScienceMargaret MORRISON: Approximating the Real: The Role of Idealizations in Physical TheoryMartin R. JONES: Idealization and Abstraction: A FrameworkDavid S. NIVISON: Standard TimeJames BOGEN (...)
     
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  22. A Theory of Evidence for Evidence-Based Policy.Nancy Cartwright & Jacob Stegenga - 2011 - In Philip Dawid, William Twining & Mimi Vasilaki (eds.), Evidence, Inference and Enquiry. Oup/British Academy. pp. 291.
    WE AIM HERE to outline a theory of evidence for use. More specifically we lay foundations for a guide for the use of evidence in predicting policy effectiveness in situ, a more comprehensive guide than current standard offerings, such as the Maryland rules in criminology, the weight of evidence scheme of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), or the US ‘What Works Clearinghouse’. The guide itself is meant to be well-grounded but at the same time to give practicable (...)
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  23. Where Do Laws of Nature Come From?Nancy Cartwright - 1997 - Dialectica 51 (1):65–78.
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  24. Causality and Realism in the EPR Experiment.Hasok Chang & Nancy Cartwright - 1993 - Erkenntnis 38 (2):169 - 190.
    We argue against the common view that it is impossible to give a causal account of the distant correlations that are revealed in EPR-type experiments. We take a realistic attitude about quantum mechanics which implies a willingness to modify our familiar concepts according to its teachings. We object to the argument that the violation of factorizability in EPR rules out causal accounts, since such an argument is at best based on the desire to retain a classical description of nature that (...)
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  25. Do the Laws of Physics State the Facts?Nancy Cartwright - 1998 - In M. Curd & J. A. Cover (eds.), Philosophy of Science: The Central Issues. Norton. pp. 865-877.
     
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  26. The Vanity of Rigour in Economics Theoretical Models and Galilean Experiments.Nancy Cartwright - 1999 - Lse, Centre for the Philosophy of the Natural and Social Sciences.
     
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  27. The Truth Doesn't Explain Much.Nancy Cartwright - 1980 - American Philosophical Quarterly 17 (2):159 - 163.
  28. Predicting 'It Will Work for Us': (Way) Beyond Statistics.Nancy Cartwright - 2011 - In Phyllis McKay Illari, Federica Russo & Jon Williamson (eds.), Causality in the Sciences. Oxford University Press.
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  29. String Theory Under Scrutiny.Roman Frigg & N. Cartwright - unknown
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  30.  95
    Fundamentalism Vs. The Patchwork of Laws.Nancy Cartwright - 1993 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 94:279 - 292.
  31.  68
    Models and the Limits of Theory: Quantum Hamiltonians and the BCS Model of Superconductivity.Nancy Cartwright - 1999 - In Mary Morgan & Margaret Morrison (eds.), Models as Mediators: Perspectives on Natural and Social Science. Cambridge University Press. pp. 241-281.
  32.  16
    Evidence-Based Policy: Where is Our Theory of Evidence?N. Cartwright, A. Goldfinch & J. Howick - 2009 - Journal of Children’s Services 4 (4):6--14.
    This article critically analyses the concept of evidence in evidence‐based policy, arguing that there is a key problem: there is no existing practicable theory of evidence, one which is philosophically‐grounded and yet applicable for evidence‐based policy. The article critically considers both philosophical accounts of evidence and practical treatments of evidence in evidence‐based policy. It argues that both fail in different ways to provide a theory of evidence that is adequate for evidence‐based policy. The article contributes to the debate about how (...)
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  33. The Dappled World: A Study of the Boundaries of Science.Nancy Cartwright - 2000 - Philosophy 75 (294):613-616.
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  34.  56
    Causal Diversity and the Markov Condition.Nancy Cartwright - 1999 - Synthese 121 (1-2):3-27.
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  35. In Defence of `This Worldly' Causality: Comments on Van Fraassen's Laws and Symmetry.Nancy Cartwright - 1993 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 53 (2):423-429.
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  36.  80
    Hunting Causes and Using Them: Is There No Bridge From Here to There?Nancy Cartwright & Sophia Efstathiou - 2011 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 25 (3):223 - 241.
    Causation is in trouble?at least as it is pictured in current theories in philosophy and in economics as well, where causation is also once again in fashion. In both disciplines the accounts of causality on offer are either modelled too closely on one or another favoured method for hunting causes or on assumptions about the uses to which causal knowledge can be put?generally for predicting the results of our efforts to change the world. The first kind of account supplies no (...)
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    Theories: Tools Versus Models.Mauricio Suárez & Nancy Cartwright - 2008 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 39 (1):62-81.
  38. The Dappled World: A Study of the Boundaries of Science.Nancy Cartwright - 1999 - Cambridge University Press.
    It is often supposed that the spectacular successes of our modern mathematical sciences support a lofty vision of a world completely ordered by one single elegant theory. In this book Nancy Cartwright argues to the contrary. When we draw our image of the world from the way modern science works - as empiricism teaches us we should - we end up with a world where some features are precisely ordered, others are given to rough regularity and still others behave in (...)
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  39.  91
    How to Hunt Quantum Causes.Nancy Cartwright & Martin Jones - 1991 - Erkenntnis 35 (1-3):205 - 231.
    Reichenbach worked in an era when philosophers were hopeful about the unity of science, and particularly about unity of method. He looked for universal tests of causal connectedness that could be applied across disciplines and independently of specific modeling assumptions. The hunt for quantum causes reminds us that his hopes were too optimistic. The mark method is not even a starter in testing for causal links between outcomes in E.P.R., because our background hypotheses about these links are too thin to (...)
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  40. Ceteris Paribus Laws and Socio-Economic Machines.N. Cartwright - 1995 - The Monist 78 (3):276-294.
  41. Can Wholism Reconcile the Inaccuracy of Theory with the Accuracy of Prediction?Nancy Cartwright - 1991 - Synthese 89 (1):3 - 13.
    Work by social constructionists over the past decade and a half has reenforced the epistemological pessimist's despair that our system of science could ever be a mirror of nature. Realists argue that the amazing success of modern science at precise prediction and control indicates just the contrary. In response, social constructionists often point out that these successes seldom apply to the world as it comes naturally, but only as it is reconstructed in the scientist's laboratory. But this does not explain (...)
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  42.  58
    From Metaphysics to Method: Comments on Manipulability and the Causal Markov Condition.Nancy Cartwright - 2006 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 57 (1):197-218.
    Daniel Hausman and James Woodward claim to prove that the causal Markov condition, so important to Bayes-nets methods for causal inference, is the ‘flip side’ of an important metaphysical fact about causation—that causes can be used to manipulate their effects. This paper disagrees. First, the premise of their proof does not demand that causes can be used to manipulate their effects but rather that if a relation passes a certain specific kind of test, it is causal. Second, the proof is (...)
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  43. Correlations Without Joint Distributions in Quantum Mechanics.Nancy Cartwright - 1974 - Foundations of Physics 4 (1):127-136.
    The use of joint distribution functions for noncommuting observables in quantum thermodynamics is investigated in the light of L. Cohen's proof that such distributions are not determined by the quantum state. Cohen's proof is irrelevant to uses of the functions that do not depend on interpreting them as distributions. An example of this, from quantum Onsager theory, is discussed. Other uses presuppose that correlations betweenp andq values depend at least on the state. But correlations may be fixed by the state (...)
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  44.  3
    Causal Laws, Policy Predictions, and the Need for Genuine Powers.Nancy Cartwright - 2007 - In Toby Handfield (ed.), Dispositions and Causes. Oxford University Press, Clarendon Press ;.
    Knowledge of causal laws is expensive and hard to come by. But we work hard to get it because we believe that it will reduce contingency in planning policies and in building new technologies: knowledge of causal laws allows us to predict reliably what the outcomes will be when we manipulate the factors cited as causes in those laws. Or do they? This paper will argue that causal laws have no special role here. As economists from JS Mill to Robert (...)
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  45. Models: The Blueprints for Laws.Nancy Cartwright - 1997 - Philosophy of Science 64 (4):303.
    In this paper the claim that laws of nature are to be understood as claims about what necessarily or reliably happens is disputed. Laws can characterize what happens in a reliable way, but they do not do this easily. We do not have laws for everything occurring in the world, but only for those situations where what happens in nature is represented by a model: models are blueprints for nomological machines, which in turn give rise to laws. An example from (...)
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  46.  56
    An Interview with Nancy Cartwright.N. Cartwright - 1995 - Cogito 9 (3):203-215.
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  47.  47
    Two Theorems on Invariance and Causality.Nancy Cartwright - 2003 - Philosophy of Science 70 (1):203-224.
    In much recent work, invariance under intervention has become a hallmark of the correctness of a causal-law claim. Despite its importance this thesis generally is either simply assumed or is supported by very general arguments with heavy reliance on examples, and crucial notions involved are characterized only loosely. Yet for both philosophical analysis and practicing science, it is important to get clear about whether invariance under intervention is or is not necessary or sufficient for which kinds of causal claims. Furthermore, (...)
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  48.  53
    Is Natural Science 'Natural' Enough?: A Reply to Philip Allport.Nancy Cartwright - 1993 - Synthese 94 (2):291 - 301.
  49.  9
    Current Periodical Articles 707.Nancy Cartwright - 1995 - The Monist 78 (3).
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    What’s so Special About Empirical Adequacy?Sindhuja Bhakthavatsalam & Nancy Cartwright - forthcoming - European Journal for Philosophy of Science:1-21.
    Empirical adequacy matters directly - as it does for antirealists - if we aim to get all or most of the observable facts right, or indirectly - as it does for realists - as a symptom that the claims we make about the theoretical facts are right. But why should getting the facts - either theoretical or empirical - right be required of an acceptable theory? Here we endorse two other jobs that good theories are expected to do: helping us (...)
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