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Nancy Cartwright [224]Nancy Delaney Cartwright [2]Nancy Lynn Delaney Cartwright [1]
  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. 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. 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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  4.  70
    Hunting Causes and Using Them: Approaches in Philosophy and Economics.Nancy Cartwright (ed.) - 2007 - Cambridge University Press.
    Hunting Causes and Using Them argues that causation is not one thing, as commonly assumed, but many. There is a huge variety of causal relations, each with different characterizing features, different methods for discovery and different uses to which it can be put. In this collection of new and previously published essays, Nancy Cartwright provides a critical survey of philosophical and economic literature on causality, with a special focus on the currently fashionable Bayes-nets and invariance methods - and it exposes (...)
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  5.  27
    Evidence‐Based Policy : Where is Our Theory of Evidence?Nancy Cartwright - manuscript
    This paper critically analyses the concept of evidence in evidence-based-policy arguing that there is key problem: that there is no existing practicable theory of evidence, one which is philosophically grounded and yet applicable for evidencebased policy. The paper 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-basedpolicy. The paper is a valuable contribution to the part of (...)
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  6. 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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  7.  8
    The Dappled World: A Study of the Boundaries of Science.Nancy Cartwright - 2003 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 66 (1):244-247.
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  8.  35
    Are Rcts the Gold Standard?Nancy Cartwright - 2007 - Biosocieties 1 (1):11-20.
    The claims of randomized controlled trials to be the gold standard rest on the fact that the ideal RCT is a deductive method: if the assumptions of the test are met, a positive result implies the appropriate causal conclusion. This is a feature that RCTs share with a variety of other methods, which thus have equal claim to being a gold standard. This article describes some of these other deductive methods and also some useful non-deductive methods, including the hypothetico-deductive method. (...)
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  9. 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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  10. 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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  11. 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.
    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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  12. 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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  13. 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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  14. 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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  15.  65
    Otto Neurath: Philosophy Between Science and Politics.Nancy Cartwright, Jordi Cat, Lola Fleck & Thomas E. Uebel (eds.) - 1996 - Cambridge University Press.
    An international team of four authors, led by distinguished philosopher of science, Nancy Cartwright, and leading scholar of the Vienna Circle, Thomas E. Uebel, have produced this lucid and elegant study of a much-neglected figure. The book, which depicts Neurath's science in the political, economic and intellectual milieu in which it was practised, is divided into three sections: Neurath's biographical background and the socio-political context of his economic ideas; the development of his theory of science; and his legacy as illustrated (...)
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  16.  99
    Presidential Address: Will This Policy Work for You? Predicting Effectiveness Better: How Philosophy Helps.Nancy Cartwright - 2012 - Philosophy of Science 79 (5):973-989.
    There is a takeover movement fast gaining influence in development economics, a movement that demands that predictions about development outcomes be based on randomized controlled trials. The problem it takes up—of using evidence of efficacy from good studies to predict whether a policy will be effective if we implement it—is a general one, and affects us all. My discussion is the result of a long struggle to develop the right concepts to deal with the problem of warranting effectiveness predictions. Whether (...)
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  17.  17
    Do the Laws of Physics State the Facts?Nancy Cartwright - 1980 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 61 (1/2):75.
    The facticity view of fundamental laws of physics takes them to state facts about reality. To preserve the facticity of laws in the face of complex phenomena with multiple intervening factors, composition of causes, often by vector addition, is invoked. However, this addition should be read only as a metaphor, for only the resultant force is real. The truth and the explanatory power of laws can both be preserved by viewing laws as describing causal powers that objects possess, but this (...)
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  18. 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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  19. Probability and Causality: Why Hume and Indeterminism Don’T Mix.John Dupré & Nancy Cartwright - 1988 - Noûs 22 (4):521-536.
  20. In Favor of Laws That Are Not C Eteris 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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  21.  18
    Are RCTs the Gold Standard?Nancy Cartwright - 2007 - In Causal Powers: What Are They? Why Do We Need Them? What Can Be Done with Them and What Cannot?
    The claims of RCTs to be the gold standard rest on the fact that the ideal RCT is a deductive method: if the assumptions of the test are met, a positive result implies the appropriate causal conclusion. This is a feature that RCTs share with a variety of other methods, which thus have equal claim to being a gold standard. This paper describes some of these other deductive methods and also some useful non-deductive methods, including the hypothetico-deductive method. It argues (...)
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  22.  18
    A Philosopher's View of the Long Road From RCTs to Effectiveness.Nancy Cartwright - 2011 - The Lancet 377 (9775):1400-1401.
    For evidence-based practice and policy, randomised controlled trials are the current gold standard. But exactly why? We know that RCTs do not, without a series of strong assumptions, warrant predictions about what happens in practice. But just what are these assumptions? I maintain that, from a philosophical stance, answers to both questions are obscured because we don't attend to what causal claims say. Causal claims entering evidence-based medicine at different points say different things and, I would suggest, failure to attend (...)
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  23. Evidence-Based Policy: What’s to Be Done About Relevance?: For the 2008 Oberlin Philosophy Colloquium. [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, which are all the rage now, are only a very small part of the story. (...)
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  24. 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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  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. 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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  27. 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.
  28. What Is Wrong With Bayes Nets?Nancy Cartwright - 2001 - The Monist 84 (2):242-264.
    Probability is a guide to life partly because it is a guide to causality. Work over the last two decades using Bayes nets supposes that probability is a very sure guide to causality. I think not, and I shall argue that here. Almost all the objections I list are well-known. But I have come to see them in a different light by reflecting again on the original work in this area by Wolfgang Spohn and his recent defense of it in (...)
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  29. 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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  30. XII—Fundamentalism Vs. The Patchwork of Laws.Nancy Cartwright - 19934 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 94 (1):279-292.
  31.  21
    Aristotelian Powers: Without Them, What Would Modern Science Do?Nancy Cartwright & John Pemberton - 2013 - In John Greco & Ruth Groff (eds.), Powers and Capacities in Philosophy: the New Aristotelianism. London, U.K.: Routledge. pp. 93-112.
    The volume brings together for the first time original essays by leading philosophers working on powers in relation to metaphysics, philosophy of natural and social science, philosophy of mind and action, epistemology, ethics and social and political philosophy. In each area, the concern is to show how a commitment to real causal powers affects discussion at the level in question. In metaphysics, for example, realism about powers is now recognized as providing an alternative to orthodox accounts of causation, modality, properties (...)
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  32.  16
    Otto Neurath: Philosophy Between Science and Politics. [REVIEW]T. A. Ryckman, Nancy Cartwright, Jordi Cat, Lola Fleck & Thomas E. Uebel - 1998 - Philosophical Review 107 (2):327.
    Four distinguished authors have been brought together to produce this elegant study of a much-neglected figure. The book is divided into three sections: Neurath's biographical background and the economic and social context of his ideas; his theory of science; and the development of his role in debates on Marxist concepts of history and his own conception of science. Coinciding with the emerging serious interest in logical positivism, this timely publication will redress a current imbalance in the history and philosophy of (...)
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  33.  99
    Ceteris Paribus Laws Need Machines to Generate Them.John Pemberton & Nancy Cartwright - 2014 - Erkenntnis 79 (S10):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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  34.  54
    Nature's Capacities and Their Measurement.Tim Maudlin & Nancy Cartwright - 1993 - Journal of Philosophy 90 (11):599.
    This book on the philosophy of science argues for an empiricism, opposed to the tradition of David Hume, in which singular rather than general causal claims are primary; causal laws express facts about singular causes whereas the general causal claims of science are ascriptions of capacities or causal powers, capacities to make things happen. Taking science as measurement, Cartwright argues that capacities are necessary for science and that these can be measured, provided suitable conditions are met. There are case studies (...)
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  35.  93
    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.
  36.  45
    What’s so Special About Empirical Adequacy?Sindhuja Bhakthavatsalam & Nancy Cartwright - 2017 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 7 (3):445-465.
    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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  37. False Idealisation: A Philosophical Threat to Scientific Method.Nancy Cartwright - 1995 - Philosophical Studies 77 (2-3):339 - 352.
  38. The Truth Doesn’T Explain Much.Nancy Cartwright - 1980 - American Philosophical Quarterly 17 (2):159 - 163.
    The standard view of explanation in science---the covering law model---assumes that knowledge of laws lies at the basis of our ability to explain phenomena. But in fact most of the high-level claims in science are ceteris paribus generalizations, which are false unless certain precise conditions obtain. Given the explanatory force of ceteris paribus generalizations but the paucity of true laws, the covering law model of explanation must be false. There is, it is argued, a trade-off between truth and explanatory power.
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  39.  9
    Aristotelian Powers: Without Them, What Would Modern Science Do?Nancy Cartwright & John Pemberton - 2013 - In John Greco & Ruth Groff (eds.), Powers and Capacities in Philosophy: the New Aristotelianism. London, U.K.: Routledge. pp. 93-112.
    The volume brings together for the first time original essays by leading philosophers working on powers in relation to metaphysics, philosophy of natural and social science, philosophy of mind and action, epistemology, ethics and social and political philosophy. In each area, the concern is to show how a commitment to real causal powers affects discussion at the level in question. In metaphysics, for example, realism about powers is now recognized as providing an alternative to orthodox accounts of causation, modality, properties (...)
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  40.  4
    Where is the Theory in Our 'Theories' of Causality?Nancy Cartwright - 2007 - In Hunting Causes and Using Them: Approaches in Philosophy and Economics. Cambridge, U.K: Cambridge University Press. pp. 43-56.
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  41.  85
    Causal Diversity and the Markov Condition.Nancy Cartwright - 1999 - Synthese 121 (1-2):3-27.
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  42.  28
    Mechanisms, laws and explanation.Nancy Cartwright, John Pemberton & Sarah Wieten - 2020 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 10 (3):1-19.
    Mechanisms are now taken widely in philosophy of science to provide one of modern science’s basic explanatory devices. This has raised lively debate concerning the relationship between mechanisms, laws and explanation. This paper focuses on cases where a mechanism gives rise to a ceteris paribus law, addressing two inter-related questions: What kind of explanation is involved? and What is going on in the world when mechanism M affords behavior B described in a ceteris paribus law? We explore various answers offered (...)
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  43. Are Laws of Nature Consistent with Contingency?Nancy Cartwright & Pedro Merlussi - 2018 - In Walter Ott & Lydia Patton (eds.), Laws of Nature. Oxford, UK:
    Are the laws of nature consistent with contingency about what happens in the world? That depends on what the laws of nature actually are, but it also depends on what they are like. The latter is the concern of this chapter, which looks at three views that are widely endorsed: ‘Humean’ regularity accounts, laws as relations among universals, and disposition/powers accounts. Given an account of what laws are, what follows about how much contingency, and of what kinds, laws allow? In (...)
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  44. Where Do Laws of Nature Come From?Nancy Cartwright - 1997 - Dialectica 51 (1):65–78.
  45. Ceteris Paribus Laws and Socio-Economic Machines.Nancy Cartwright - 1995 - The Monist 78 (3):276-294.
    Economics differs from physics, we are told, in that the laws economics studies hold only ceteris paribus whereas those of physics are supposed to obtain universally and without condition. Does this point to a metaphysical difference between the laws the two disciplines study or does it reflect merely a deficiency in the level of accomplishment of economics as compared to physics?
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  46.  9
    Hunting Causes and Using Them: Is There No Bridge From Here to There?Nancy Cartwright & Sophia Efstathiou - unknown
    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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  47.  15
    What Evidence Should Guidelines Take Note Of?Nancy Cartwright - 2018 - Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice 24 (5):1139-1144.
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  48.  21
    Measurement.Nancy Cartwright - 2010 - In Stathis Psillos & Martin Curd (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Science. London, U.K.: Routledge.
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  49.  29
    Causal Laws, Policy Predictions and the Need for Genuine Powers.Nancy Cartwright - 2007 - In Toby Handfield (ed.), Dispositions and Causes. Oxford, U.K.: Oxford University Press, Clarendon Press ;. pp. 6-30.
    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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  50.  98
    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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