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  1. Modeling interventions in multi-level causal systems: supervenience, exclusion and underdetermination.James Woodward - 2022 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 12 (4):1-34.
    This paper explores some issues concerning how we should think about interventions (in the sense of unconfounded manipulations) of "upper-level" variables in contexts in which these supervene on but are not identical with lower-level realizers. It is argued that we should reject the demand that interventions on upper-level variables must leave their lower-level realizers unchanged– a requirement that within an interventionist framework would imply that upper-level variables are causally inert. Instead an intervention on an upper-level variable at the same time (...)
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  • Intervening into mechanisms: Prospects and challenges.Lena Kästner & Lise Marie Andersen - 2018 - Philosophy Compass 13 (11):e12546.
    In contemporary philosophy of science, the consensus view seems to be that scientific explanations describe mechanisms responsible for the phenomena to be explained. Two kinds of explanatory relevance figure in mechanistic accounts of explanation: causal and constitutive. Following prominent accounts, it seems natural to analyze both these relations in terms of systematic interventions into some factor X with respect to another factor Y. However, such interventions are tailored to uncover causal relations only. Construing the constitutive relationship between parts and wholes (...)
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  • Modeling psychopathology: 4D multiplexes to the rescue.Lena Kästner - 2022 - Synthese 201 (1):1-30.
    Accounts of mental disorders focusing either on the brain as neurophysiological substrate or on systematic connections between symptoms are insufficient to account for the multifactorial nature of mental illnesses. Recently, multiplexes have been suggested to provide a holistic view of psychopathology that integrates data from different factors, at different scales, or across time. Intuitively, these multi-layered network structures present quite appealing models of mental disorders that can be constructed by powerful computational machinery based on increasing amounts of real-world data. In (...)
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  • Bayesian Networks and Causal Ecumenism.David Kinney - 2023 - Erkenntnis 88 (1):147-172.
    Proponents of various causal exclusion arguments claim that for any given event, there is often a unique level of granularity at which that event is caused. Against these causal exclusion arguments, causal ecumenists argue that the same event or phenomenon can be caused at multiple levels of granularity. This paper argues that the Bayesian network approach to representing the causal structure of target systems is consistent with causal ecumenism. Given the ubiquity of Bayesian networks as a tool for representing causal (...)
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  • Interventionism and Higher-level Causation.Vera Hoffman-Kolss - 2014 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 28 (1):49-64.
    Several authors have recently claimed that the notorious causal exclusion problem, according to which higher-level causes are threatened with causal pre-emption by lower-level causes, can be avoided if causal relevance is understood in terms of Woodward's interventionist account of causation. They argue that if causal relevance is defined in interventionist terms, there are cases where only higher-level properties, but not the lower-level properties underlying them, qualify as causes of a certain effect. In this article, I show that the line of (...)
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  • Interventionism and Non-Causal Dependence Relations: New Work for a Theory of Supervenience.Vera Hoffmann-Kolss - 2022 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 100 (4):679-694.
    ABSTRACT Causes must be distinct from their effects. If the temperature in a room is 15°F, this can cause water pipes to freeze. However, the temperature’s being 15°F is not a cause of the temperature’s being below the freezing point. In general, conceptual, logical, mathematical, and other non-causal dependence relations should not be misclassified as causal. In this paper, I discuss how interventionist theories of causation can meet the challenge of distinguishing between (direct or indirect) causal relations and dependence relations (...)
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  • Causal Exclusion and Causal Bayes Nets.Alexander Gebharter - 2017 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 95 (2):353-375.
    In this paper I reconstruct and evaluate the validity of two versions of causal exclusion arguments within the theory of causal Bayes nets. I argue that supervenience relations formally behave like causal relations. If this is correct, then it turns out that both versions of the exclusion argument are valid when assuming the causal Markov condition and the causal minimality condition. I also investigate some consequences for the recent discussion of causal exclusion arguments in the light of an interventionist theory (...)
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  • Robustness and reality.Markus I. Eronen - 2015 - Synthese 192 (12):3961-3977.
    Robustness is often presented as a guideline for distinguishing the true or real from mere appearances or artifacts. Most of recent discussions of robustness have focused on the kind of derivational robustness analysis introduced by Levins, while the related but distinct idea of robustness as multiple accessibility, defended by Wimsatt, has received less attention. In this paper, I argue that the latter kind of robustness, when properly understood, can provide justification for ontological commitments. The idea is that we are justified (...)
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  • Robust realism for the life sciences.Markus I. Eronen - 2019 - Synthese 196 (6):2341-2354.
    Although scientific realism is the default position in the life sciences, philosophical accounts of realism are geared towards physics and run into trouble when applied to fields such as biology or neuroscience. In this paper, I formulate a new robustness-based version of entity realism, and show that it provides a plausible account of realism for the life sciences that is also continuous with scientific practice. It is based on the idea that if there are several independent ways of measuring, detecting (...)
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  • Interventionism and Supervenience: A New Problem and Provisional Solution.Markus8 Eronen & Daniel Brooks - 2014 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 28 (2):185-202.
    The causal exclusion argument suggests that mental causes are excluded in favour of the underlying physical causes that do all the causal work. Recently, a debate has emerged concerning the possibility of avoiding this conclusion by adopting Woodward's interventionist theory of causation. Both proponents and opponents of the interventionist solution crucially rely on the notion of supervenience when formulating their positions. In this article, we consider the relation between interventionism and supervenience in detail and argue that importing supervenience relations into (...)
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  • Interventionism for the Intentional Stance: True Believers and Their Brains.Markus I. Eronen - 2020 - Topoi 39 (1):45-55.
    The relationship between psychological states and the brain remains an unresolved issue in philosophy of psychology. One appealing solution that has been influential both in science and in philosophy is Dennett’s concept of the intentional stance, according to which beliefs and desires are real and objective phenomena, but not necessarily states of the brain. A fundamental shortcoming of this approach is that it does not seem to leave any causal role for beliefs and desires in influencing behavior. In this paper, (...)
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  • What is the Exclusion Problem?Jeff Engelhardt - 2015 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 96 (2):205-232.
    The philosophical literature contains at least three formulations of the problem of causal exclusion. Although each of the three most common formulations targets theories according to which some effects have ‘too many determiners’, no one is reducible to either of the others. This article proposes two ‘new’ exclusion problems and suggests that exclusion is not a single problem but a family of problems unified by the situations they problematize. It is shown, further, that for three of the most popular attempts (...)
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  • Transcending the evidentiary boundary: Prediction error minimization, embodied interaction, and explanatory pluralism.Regina E. Fabry - 2017 - Philosophical Psychology 30 (4):395-414.
    In a recent paper, Jakob Hohwy argues that the emerging predictive processing perspective on cognition requires us to explain cognitive functioning in purely internalistic and neurocentric terms. The purpose of the present paper is to challenge the view that PP entails a wholesale rejection of positions that are interested in the embodied, embedded, extended, or enactive dimensions of cognitive processes. I will argue that Hohwy’s argument from analogy, which forces an evidentiary boundary into the picture, lacks the argumentative resources to (...)
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  • Intervening on the Causal Exclusion Problem for Integrated Information Theory.Matthew Baxendale & Garrett Mindt - 2018 - Minds and Machines 28 (2):331-351.
    In this paper, we examine the causal framework within which integrated information theory of consciousness makes it claims. We argue that, in its current formulation, IIT is threatened by the causal exclusion problem. Some proponents of IIT have attempted to thwart the causal exclusion problem by arguing that IIT has the resources to demonstrate genuine causal emergence at macro scales. In contrast, we argue that their proposed solution to the problem is damagingly circular as a result of inter-defining information and (...)
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  • The Inherent Empirical Underdetermination of Mental Causation.Michael Baumgartner - 2018 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 96 (2):335-350.
    It has become a popular view among non-reductive physicalists that it is possible to devise empirical tests generating evidence for the causal efficacy of the mental, whereby the exclusion worries that have haunted the position of non-reductive physicalism for decades can be dissolved once and for all. This paper aims to show that these evidentialist hopes are vain. I argue that, if the mental is taken to supervene non-reductively on the physical, there cannot exist empirical evidence for its causal efficacy. (...)
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  • Rendering Interventionism and Non‐Reductive Physicalism Compatible.Michael Baumgartner - 2013 - Dialectica 67 (1):1-27.
    In recent years, the debate on the problem of causal exclusion has seen an ‘interventionist turn’. Numerous non-reductive physicalists (e.g. Shapiro and Sober 2007) have argued that Woodward's (2003) interventionist theory of causation provides a means to empirically establish the existence of non-reducible mental-to-physical causation. By contrast, Baumgartner (2010) has presented an interventionist exclusion argument showing that interventionism is in fact incompatible with non-reductive physicalism. In response, a number of revised versions of interventionism have been suggested that are compatible with (...)
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  • Is it possible to experimentally determine the extension of cognition?Michael Baumgartner & Wendy Wilutzky - 2017 - Philosophical Psychology 30 (8):1104-1125.
    Various analytical tools originally developed for theories of mechanistic explanation have recently been imported into the ongoing debate on the hypothesis of extended cognition. One such tool that appears particularly relevant to that debate is Craver’s mutual manipulability account of constitution, most of all because it promises to settle the debate on experimental grounds. This paper investigates whether it is possible to deliver on that promise. We first find that, far from grounding an experimental evaluation of HEC, MM is conceptually (...)
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  • Constitutive Relevance, Mutual Manipulability, and Fat-Handedness.Michael Baumgartner & Alexander Gebharter - 2016 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 67 (3):731-756.
    The first part of this paper argues that if Craver’s ([2007a], [2007b]) popular mutual manipulability account (MM) of mechanistic constitution is embedded within Woodward’s ([2003]) interventionist theory of causation--for which it is explicitly designed--it either undermines the mechanistic research paradigm by entailing that there do not exist relationships of constitutive relevance or it gives rise to the unwanted consequence that constitution is a form of causation. The second part shows how Woodward’s theory can be adapted in such a way that (...)
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  • Validating Animal Models.Nina Atanasova - 2015 - Theoria: Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia 30 (2):163.
    This paper responds to a recent challenge for the validity of extrapolation of neurobiological knowledge from laboratory animals to humans. According to this challenge, experimental neurobiology, and thus neuroscience, is in a state of crisis because the knowledge produced in different laboratories hardly generalizes from one laboratory to another. Presumably, this is so because neurobiological laboratories use simplified animal models of human conditions that differ across laboratories. By contrast, I argue that maintaining a multiplicity of experimental protocols and simple models (...)
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  • Causal after all : a model of mental causation for dualists.Bram Vaassen - 2019 - Dissertation, Umeå University
    In this dissertation, I develop and defend a model of causation that allows for dualist mental causation in worlds where the physical domain is physically complete. In Part I, I present the dualist ontology that will be assumed throughout the thesis and identify two challenges for models of mental causation within such an ontology: the exclusion worry and the common cause worry. I also argue that a proper response to these challenges requires a thoroughly lightweight account of causation, i.e. an (...)
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  • Reality in Perspectives.Mahdi Khalili - 2022 - Dissertation, Vu University Amsterdam
    This dissertation is about human knowledge of reality. In particular, it argues that scientific knowledge is bounded by historically available instruments and theories; nevertheless, the use of several independent instruments and theories can provide access to the persistent potentialities of reality. The replicability of scientific observations and experiments allows us to obtain explorable evidence of robust entities and properties. The dissertation includes seven chapters. It also studies three cases – namely, Higgs bosons and hypothetical Ϝ-particles (section 2.4), the Ptolemaic and (...)
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  • The problem of granularity for scientific explanation.David Kinney - 2019 - Dissertation, London School of Economics and Political Science (Lse)
    This dissertation aims to determine the optimal level of granularity for the variables used in probabilistic causal models. These causal models are useful for generating explanations in a number of scientific contexts. In Chapter 1, I argue that there is rarely a unique level of granularity at which a given phenomenon can be causally explained, thereby rejecting various causal exclusion arguments. In Chapter 2, I consider several recent proposals for measuring the explanatory power of causal explanations, and show that these (...)
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  • Identifying Causes in Psychiatry.Lena Kästner - unknown
    Explanations in psychiatry often integrate various factors relevant to psychopathology. Identifying genuine causes among them is theoretically and clinically important, but epistemically challenging. Woodward’s interventionism appears to provide a promising tool to achieve this. However, Woodward’s interventionism is too demanding to be applied to psychiatry. I thus introduce difference-making interventionism, which detects relevance in general rather than causation, to make interventionist reasoning viable in clinical practice. DMI mirrors the empirical reality of psychiatry even more closely than interventionism, but it needs (...)
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