A theory of structural determination

Philosophical Studies 173 (1):159-186 (2016)
Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
While structural equations modeling is increasingly used in philosophical theorizing about causation, it remains unclear what it takes for a particular structural equations model to be correct. To the extent that this issue has been addressed, the consensus appears to be that it takes a certain family of causal counterfactuals being true. I argue that this account faces difficulties in securing the independent manipulability of the structural determination relations represented in a correct structural equations model. I then offer an alternate understanding of structural determination, and I demonstrate that this theory guarantees that structural determination relations are independently manipulable. The account provides a straightforward way of understanding hypothetical interventions, as well as a criterion for distinguishing hypothetical changes in the values of variables which constitute interventions from those which do not. It additionally affords a semantics for causal counterfactual conditionals which is able to yield a clean solution to a problem case for the standard ‘closest possible world’ semantics
PhilPapers/Archive ID
Upload history
Archival date: 2015-04-16
View other versions
Added to PP index

Total views
309 ( #26,153 of 72,528 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
30 ( #29,073 of 72,528 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks on external links on PhilPapers.