How interventionist accounts of causation work in experimental practice and why there is no need to worry about supervenience

Synthese 199 (1-2):4601-4620 (2021)
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It has been argued that supervenience generates unavoidable confounding problems for interventionist accounts of causation, to the point that we must choose between interventionism and supervenience. According to one solution, the dilemma can be defused by excluding non-causal determinants of an outcome as potential confounders. I argue that this solution undermines the methodological validity of causal tests. Moreover, we don’t have to choose between interventionism and supervenience in the first place. Some confounding problems are effectively circumvented by experimental designs routinely employed in science. The remaining confounding issues concern the physical interpretation of variables and cannot be solved by choosing between interventionism and supervenience.

Author Profiles

Tudor-Mihai Baetu
Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières
Baetu Tudor
Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières


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