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  1. added 2018-07-29
    Horizontal Surgicality and Mechanistic Constitution.Michael Baumgartner, Lorenzo Casini & Beate Krickel - 2018 - Erkenntnis:1-14.
    While ideal interventions are acknowledged by many as valuable tools for the analysis of causation, recent discussions have shown that, since there are no ideal interventions on upper-level phenomena that non-reductively supervene on their underlying mechanisms, interventions cannot—contrary to a popular opinion—ground an informative analysis of constitution. This has led some to abandon the project of analyzing constitution in interventionist terms. By contrast, this paper defines the notion of a horizontally surgical intervention, and argues that, when combined with some innocuous (...)
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  2. added 2017-08-09
    Causality, Human Action and Experimentation: Von Wright's Approach to Causation in Contemporary Perspective.Elena Popa - 2017 - Acta Philosophica Fennica 93:355-373.
    This paper discusses von Wright's theory of causation from Explanation and Understanding and Causality and Determinism in contemporary context. I argue that there are two important common points that von Wright's view shares with the version of manipulability currently supported by Woodward: the analysis of causal relations in a system modelled on controlled experiments, and the explanation of manipulability through counterfactuals - with focus on the counterfactual account of unmanipulable causes. These points also mark von Wright's departure from previous action-based (...)
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  3. added 2017-06-20
    Patterns, Information, and Causation.Holly Andersen - 2017 - Journal of Philosophy 114 (11):592-622.
    This paper articulates an account of causation as a collection of information-theoretic relationships between patterns instantiated in the causal nexus. I draw on Dennett’s account of real patterns to characterize potential causal relata as patterns with specific identification criteria and noise tolerance levels, and actual causal relata as those patterns instantiated at some spatiotemporal location in the rich causal nexus as originally developed by Salmon. I develop a representation framework using phase space to precisely characterize causal relata, including their degree (...)
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  4. added 2016-12-08
    An Internal Limit of the Structural Analysis of Causation.Alessandro Giordani - 2016 - Axiomathes 26 (4):429-450.
    Structural models of systems of causal connections have become a common tool in the analysis of the concept of causation. In the present paper I offer a general argument to show that one of the most powerful definitions of the concept of actual cause, provided within the structural models framework, is not sufficient to grant a full account of our intuitive judgements about actual causation, so that we are still waiting for a comprehensive definition. This is done not simply by (...)
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  5. added 2016-02-29
    Systems Without a Graphical Causal Representation.Daniel M. Hausman, Reuben Stern & Naftali Weinberger - 2014 - Synthese 191 (8):1925-1930.
    There are simple mechanical systems that elude causal representation. We describe one that cannot be represented in a single directed acyclic graph. Our case suggests limitations on the use of causal graphs for causal inference and makes salient the point that causal relations among variables depend upon details of causal setups, including values of variables.
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  6. added 2015-08-27
    Making Something Happen. Where Causation and Agency Meet.Geert Keil - 2007 - In Francesca Castellani & Josef Quitterer (eds.), Agency and Causation in the Human Sciences. Mentis. pp. 19-35.
    1. Introduction: a look back at the reasons vs. causes debate. 2. The interventionist account of causation. 3. Four objections to interventionism. 4. The counterfactual analysis of event causation. 5. The role of free agency. 6. Causality in the human sciences. -- The reasons vs. causes debate reached its peak about 40 years ago. Hempel and Dray had debated the nature of historical explanation and the broader issue of whether explanations that cite an agent’s reasons are causal or not. Melden, (...)
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  7. added 2015-08-27
    La cause d'un événement éléments d'une métaphysique descriptive de la causalité entre événements.Geert Keil & Max Kistler - 2006 - Philosophie 89 (2):21.
    La philosophie contemporaine connaît une demi-douzaine de théories de la causalité. À l'époque de Kant et de Hume leur nombre a été moindre, à l'avenir on peut s'attendre à ce que leur nombre continue d'augmenter. Parmi les affirmations faites par ces théories sur la nature de la causalité, certaines sont compatibles entre elles, mais beaucoup ne le sont pas. Par conséquent, ou bien quelques-unes de ces théories sont fausses, ou bien elles ne portent pas sur le même objet. Dans ce (...)
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  8. added 2014-12-08
    On Classifying Material Entities in Basic Formal Ontology.Barry Smith - 2012 - In Interdisciplinary Ontology: Proceedings of the Third Interdisciplinary Ontology Meeting. Keio University Press. pp. 1-13.
    Basic Formal Ontology was created in 2002 as an upper-level ontology to support the creation of consistent lower-level ontologies, initially in the subdomains of biomedical research, now also in other areas, including defense and security. BFO is currently undergoing revisions in preparation for the release of BFO version 2.0. We summarize some of the proposed revisions in what follows, focusing on BFO’s treatment of material entities, and specifically of the category object.
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  9. added 2014-11-10
    Handeln und Verursachen.Geert Keil - 2000 - Klostermann.
    Wenn wir handeln, greifen wir in den Lauf der Welt ein und führen Veränderungen herbei, von denen wir zu Recht denken, daß sie nicht eingetreten wären, hätten wir nicht eingegriffen. Durch menschliche Eingriffe herbeigeführte Veränderungen machen aber nur einen kleinen Teil dessen aus, was in der Welt geschieht. Der größere Teil geschieht ohne unser Zutun. Beide Arten von Geschehnissen werden sowohl alltagssprachlich wie philosophisch in kausalem Vokabular beschrieben. Handelnde werden als kausale Urheber eines Geschehens verstanden; zugleich sind die mit Handlungen (...)
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  10. added 2014-04-02
    Can Interventionists Be Neo-Russellians? Interventionism, the Open Systems Argument, and the Arrow of Entropy.Alexander Reutlinger - 2013 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 27 (3):273-293.
    International Studies in the Philosophy of Science, Volume 27, Issue 3, Page 273-293, September 2013.
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  11. added 2014-03-14
    Absences and Late Preemption.Oisín Deery - 2013 - Theoria 79 (1):309-325.
    I focus on token, deterministic causal claims as they feature in causal explanations. Adequately handling absences is difficult for most causal theories, including theories of causal explanation. Yet so is adequately handling cases of late preemption. The best account of absence-causal claims as they appear in causal explanations is Jonathan Schaffer's quaternary, contrastive account. Yet Schaffer's account cannot handle preemption. The account that best handles late preemption is James Woodward's interventionist account. Yet Woodward's account is inadequate when it comes to (...)
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  12. added 2014-03-11
    How Effects Depend on Their Causes, Why Causal Transitivity Fails, and Why We Care About Causation.Gunnar Björnsson - 2007 - Philosophical Studies 133 (3):349-390.
    Despite recent efforts to improve on counterfactual theories of causation, failures to explain how effects depend on their causes are still manifest in a variety of cases. In particular, theories that do a decent job explaining cases of causal preemption have problems accounting for cases of causal intransitivity. Moreover, the increasing complexity of the counterfactual accounts makes it difficult to see why the concept of causation would be such a central part of our cognition. In this paper, I propose an (...)
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  13. added 2014-03-06
    Where’s the Biff?Toby Handfield, Charles R. Twardy, Kevin B. Korb & Graham Oppy - 2008 - Erkenntnis 68 (2):149-68.
    This paper presents an attempt to integrate theories of causal processes—of the kind developed by Wesley Salmon and Phil Dowe—into a theory of causal models using Bayesian networks. We suggest that arcs in causal models must correspond to possible causal processes. Moreover, we suggest that when processes are rendered physically impossible by what occurs on distinct paths, the original model must be restricted by removing the relevant arc. These two techniques suffice to explain cases of late preëmption and other cases (...)
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  14. added 2013-11-27
    The Manipulability Account of Causation Applied to Physical Systems.Louis Vervoort - manuscript
    In the following we will apply the manipulability theory of causation of Woodward 2003 to physical systems, and show that, in the latter context, the theory can be simplified. Elaborating on an argument by Cartwright, we will argue that the notions of ‘modularity’ and ‘intervention’ of the cited work should be adapted for typical physical systems, in order to take coupling of system equations into account. We will show that this allows to reduce all cause types discussed in Woodward 2003 (...)
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  15. added 2013-05-10
    Introduction to Special Issue on 'Actual Causation'.Michael Baumgartner & Luke Glynn - 2013 - Erkenntnis 78 (1):1-8.
    An actual cause of some token effect is itself a token event that helped to bring about that effect. The notion of an actual cause is different from that of a potential cause – for example a pre-empted backup – which had the capacity to bring about the effect, but which wasn't in fact operative on the occasion in question. Sometimes actual causes are also distinguished from mere background conditions: as when we judge that the struck match was a cause (...)
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  16. added 2013-05-10
    Of Miracles and Interventions.Luke Glynn - 2013 - Erkenntnis 78 (1):43-64.
    In Making Things Happen, James Woodward influentially combines a causal modeling analysis of actual causation with an interventionist semantics for the counterfactuals encoded in causal models. This leads to circularities, since interventions are defined in terms of both actual causation and interventionist counterfactuals. Circularity can be avoided by instead combining a causal modeling analysis with a semantics along the lines of that given by David Lewis, on which counterfactuals are to be evaluated with respect to worlds in which their antecedents (...)
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  17. added 2013-02-06
    Defending the Piggyback Principle Against Shapiro and Sober's Empirical Approach.Joseph A. Baltimore - 2010 - Synthese 175 (2):151-168.
    Jaegwon Kim’s supervenience/exclusion argument attempts to show that non-reductive physicalism is incompatible with mental causation. This influential argument can be seen as relying on the following principle, which I call “the piggyback principle”: If, with respect to an effect, E, an instance of a supervenient property, A, has no causal powers over and above, or in addition to, those had by its supervenience base, B, then the instance of A does not cause E (unless A is identical with B). In (...)
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  18. added 2013-01-17
    High-Level Explanation and the Interventionist’s ‘Variables Problem’.L. R. Franklin-Hall - 2016 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 67 (2):553-577.
    The interventionist account of causal explanation, in the version presented by Jim Woodward, has been recently claimed capable of buttressing the widely felt—though poorly understood—hunch that high-level, relatively abstract explanations, of the sort provided by sciences like biology, psychology and economics, are in some cases explanatorily optimal. It is the aim of this paper to show that this is mistaken. Due to a lack of effective constraints on the causal variables at the heart of the interventionist causal-explanatory scheme, as presently (...)
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  19. added 2011-06-13
    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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