Results for 'Causation, Causality, Modularity, Interventionism, Robustness, Degeneracy, Causal Faithfulness, Philosophy of Neuroscience, Philosophy of Biology'

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  1.  49
    Robustness and Modularity.Trey Boone - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    Functional robustness refers to a system’s ability to maintain a function in the face of perturbations to the causal structures that support performance of that function. Modularity, a crucial element of standard methods of causal inference and difference-making accounts of causation, refers to the independent manipulability of causal relationships within a system. Functional robustness appears to be at odds with modularity. If a function is maintained despite manipulation of some causal structure that supports that function, then (...)
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  2. Causal Selection Versus Causal Parity in Biology: Relevant Counterfactuals and Biologically Normal Interventions.Marcel Weber - forthcoming - In C. Kenneth Waters & James Woodward (eds.), Philosophical Perspectives on Causal Reasoning in Biology. Minnesota Studies in Philosophy of Science. Vol. XXI. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
    Causal selection is the task of picking out, from a field of known causally relevant factors, some factors as elements of an explanation. The Causal Parity Thesis in the philosophy of biology challenges the usual ways of making such selections among different causes operating in a developing organism. The main target of this thesis is usually gene centrism, the doctrine that genes play some special role in ontogeny, which is often described in terms of information-bearing or (...)
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  3. When to Expect Violations of Causal Faithfulness and Why It Matters.Holly Andersen - 2013 - Philosophy of Science (5):672-683.
    I present three reasons why philosophers of science should be more concerned about violations of causal faithfulness (CF). In complex evolved systems, mechanisms for maintaining various equilibrium states are highly likely to violate CF. Even when such systems do not precisely violate CF, they may nevertheless generate precisely the same problems for inferring causal structure from probabilistic relationships in data as do genuine CF-violations. Thus, potential CF-violations are particularly germane to experimental science when we rely on probabilistic information (...)
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  4. On the Incompatibility of Dynamical Biological Mechanisms and Causal Graphs.Marcel Weber - 2016 - Philosophy of Science 83 (5):959-971.
    I examine to what extent accounts of mechanisms based on formal interventionist theories of causality can adequately represent biological mechanisms with complex dynamics. Using a differential equation model for a circadian clock mechanism as an example, I first show that there exists an iterative solution that can be interpreted as a structural causal model. Thus, in principle it is possible to integrate causal difference-making information with dynamical information. However, the differential equation model itself lacks the right modularity properties (...)
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  5. 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 (...) relata, including their degree of counterfactual robustness, causal profiles, causal connectivity, and privileged grain size. By doing so, I show how the philosophical notion of causation can be rendered in a format that is amenable for direct application of mathematical techniques from information theory such that the resulting informational measures are causal informational measures. This account provides a metaphysics of causation that supports interventionist semantics and causal modeling and discovery techniques. (shrink)
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  6. The Experience of Mental Causation.Jakob Hohwy - 2004 - Behavior and Philosophy 32 (2):377 - 400.
    Most of us have a very firm belief in mental causation; that is, we firmly believe that our own distinctly mental properties are causally efficacious in the production of our behavior. This belief is dominating in contemporary philosophy of mind as a part of the causal explanatory exclusion problem for non-reductive materialists. I do not discuss the exclusion problem; rather, I assess the conception of mental causation that is presupposed in the current debate. I propose that in order (...)
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  7. Mental Representations and Millikan’s Theory of Intentional Content: Does Biology Chase Causality?Robert D. Rupert - 1999 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 37 (1):113-140.
    In her landmark book, Language, Thought, and Other Biological Categories (Millikan1984),1 Ruth Garrett Millikan utilizes the idea of a biological function to solve philosophical problems associated with the phenomena of language, thought, and meaning. Language and thought are activities of biological organisms, according to Millikan, and we should treat them as such when trying to answer related philosophical questions. Of special interest is Millikan’s treatment of intentionality. Here Millikan employs the notion of a biological function to explain what it is (...)
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  8. Causal Control: A Rationale for Causal Selection.Lauren N. Ross - 2015
    Causal selection has to do with the distinction we make between background conditions and “the” true cause or causes of some outcome of interest. A longstanding consensus in philosophy views causal selection as lacking any objective rationale and as guided, instead, by arbitrary, pragmatic, and non-scientific considerations. I argue against this position in the context of causal selection for disease traits. In this domain, causes are selected on the basis of the type of causal control (...)
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  9. An Aristotelian Account of Evolution and the Contemporary Philosophy of Biology.Mariusz Tabaczek - 2014 - The First Virtual International Conference on the Dialogue Between Science and Theology.
    The anti-reductionist character of the recent philosophy of biology and the dynamic development of the science of emergent properties prove that the time is ripe to reintroduce the thought of Aristotle, the first advocate of a “top-down” approach in life-sciences, back into the science/philosophy debate. His philosophy of nature provides profound insights particularly in the context of the contemporary science of evolution, which is still struggling with the questions of form species), teleology, and the role of (...)
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  10.  96
    An Aristotelian Account of Evolution and the Contemporary Philosophy of Biology.Mariusz Tabaczek - 2014 - Dialogo 1 (1):57-69.
    The anti-reductionist character of the recent philosophy of biology and the dynamic development of the science of emergent properties prove that the time is ripe to reintroduce the thought of Aristotle, the first advocate of a “top-down” approach in life-sciences, back into the science/philosophy debate. His philosophy of nature provides profound insights particularly in the context of the contemporary science of evolution, which is still struggling with the questions of form, teleology, and the role of chance (...)
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  11. Biological Information, Causality and Specificity - an Intimate Relationship.Karola Stotz & Paul E. Griffiths - 2017 - In Sara Imari Walker, Paul Davies & George Ellis (eds.), From Matter to Life: Information and Causality. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press. pp. 366-390.
    In this chapter we examine the relationship between biological information, the key biological concept of specificity, and recent philosophical work on causation. We begin by showing how talk of information in the molecular biosciences grew out of efforts to understand the sources of biological specificity. We then introduce the idea of ‘causal specificity’ from recent work on causation in philosophy, and our own, information theoretic measure of causal specificity. Biological specificity, we argue, is simple the causal (...)
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  12. Antireductionist Interventionism.Reuben Stern & Benjamin Eva - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    Kim’s causal exclusion argument purports to demonstrate that the non-reductive physicalist must treat mental properties (and macro-level properties in general) as causally inert. A number of authors have attempted to resist Kim’s conclusion by utilizing the conceptual resources of Woodward’s (2005) interventionist conception of causation. The viability of these responses has been challenged by Gebharter (2017a), who argues that the causal exclusion argument is vindicated by the theory of causal Bayesian networks (CBNs). Since the interventionist conception of (...)
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  13. Making Sense of Downward Causation in Manipulationism (with Illustrations From Cancer Research).Christophe Malaterre - 2011 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences (33):537-562.
    Many researchers consider cancer to have molecular causes, namely mutated genes that result in abnormal cell proliferation (e.g. Weinberg 1998). For others, the causes of cancer are to be found not at the molecular level but at the tissue level where carcinogenesis consists of disrupted tissue organization with downward causation effects on cells and cellular components (e.g. Sonnenschein and Soto 2008). In this contribution, I ponder how to make sense of such downward causation claims. Adopting a manipulationist account of causation (...)
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  14. The Causal Autonomy of the Special Sciences.Peter Menzies & Christian List - 2010 - In Cynthia Mcdonald & Graham Mcdonald (eds.), Emergence in Mind. Oxford University Press. pp. 108-129.
    The systems studied in the special sciences are often said to be causally autonomous, in the sense that their higher-level properties have causal powers that are independent of the causal powers of their more basic physical properties. This view was espoused by the British emergentists, who claimed that systems achieving a certain level of organizational complexity have distinctive causal powers that emerge from their constituent elements but do not derive from them. More recently, non-reductive physicalists have espoused (...)
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  15. 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. (...)
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  16. Causal Contributions in Economics.Christopher Clarke - forthcoming - In The Routledge Handbook of the Philosophy of Economics.
    This chapter explores the idea of one variable making a causal contribution to another variable, and how this idea applies to economics. It also explores the related concept of what-if questions in economics. In particular, it contrasts the modular theory of causal contributions and what-if questions (advocated by interventionists) with the ceteris paribus theory (advocated by Jim Heckman and others). It notes a problem with the modular theory raised by Nancy Cartwright. And it notes how, according to the (...)
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  17. On the Limits of Causal Modeling: Spatially-Structurally Complex Biological Phenomena.Marie I. Kaiser - 2016 - Philosophy of Science 83 (5):921-933.
    This paper examines the adequacy of causal graph theory as a tool for modeling biological phenomena and formalizing biological explanations. I point out that the causal graph approach reaches it limits when it comes to modeling biological phenomena that involve complex spatial and structural relations. Using a case study from molecular biology, DNA-binding and -recognition of proteins, I argue that causal graph models fail to adequately represent and explain causal phenomena in this field. The inadequacy (...)
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  18. Causation, Exclusion, and the Special Sciences.Panu Raatikainen - 2010 - Erkenntnis 73 (3):349-363.
    The issue of downward causation (and mental causation in particular), and the exclusion problem is discussed by taking into account some recent advances in the philosophy of science. The problem is viewed from the perspective of the new interventionist theory of causation developed by Woodward. It is argued that from this viewpoint, a higher-level (e.g., mental) state can sometimes truly be causally relevant, and moreover, that the underlying physical state which realizes it may fail to be such.
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  19. Probabilistic Causation and the Explanatory Role of Natural Selection.Pablo Razeto-Barry & Ramiro Frick - 2011 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 42 (3):344-355.
    The explanatory role of natural selection is one of the long-term debates in evolutionary biology. Nevertheless, the consensus has been slippery because conceptual confusions and the absence of a unified, formal causal model that integrates different explanatory scopes of natural selection. In this study we attempt to examine two questions: (i) What can the theory of natural selection explain? and (ii) Is there a causal or explanatory model that integrates all natural selection explananda? For the first question, (...)
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  20. 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 (...)-explanatory scheme, as presently formulated it is either unable to prefer high-level explanations to low, or systematically overshoots, recommending explanations at so high of a level as to be virtually vacuous. (shrink)
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  21. Mental Causation, Interventions, and Contrasts (2006).Panu Raatikainen -
    The problem of mental causation is discussed by taking into account some recent developments in the philosophy of science. The problem is viewed from the perspective of the new interventionist theory of causation developed by Woodward. The import of the idea that causal claims involve contrastive classes in mental causation is also discussed. It is argued that mental causation is much less a problem than it has appeared to be.
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  22.  89
    Taking Control : The Role of Manipulation in Theories of Causation.Henning Strandin - 2019 - Dissertation, Stockholm University
    Causation has always been a philosophically controversial subject matter. While David Hume’s empiricist account of causation has been the dominant influence in analytic philosophy and science during modern times, a minority view has instead connected causation essentially to agency and manipulation. A related approach has for the first time gained widespread popularity in recent years, due to new powerful theories of causal inference in science that are based in a technical notion of intervention, and James Woodward’s closely connected (...)
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  23. The Metaphysics of Downward Causation: Rediscovering the Formal Cause.Mariusz Tabaczek - 2013 - Zygon 48 (2):380-404.
    The methodological nonreductionism of contemporary biology opens an interesting discussion on the level of ontology and the philosophy of nature. The theory of emergence (EM), and downward causation (DC) in particular, bring a new set of arguments challenging not only methodological, but also ontological and causal reductionism. This argumentation provides a crucial philosophical foundation for the science/theology dialogue. However, a closer examination shows that proponents of EM do not present a unified and consistent definition of DC. Moreover, (...)
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  24. The Causal Economy Approach to Scientific Explanation.Laura Franklin-Hall - forthcoming - Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science.
    This paper sketches a causal account of scientific explanation designed to sustain the judgment that high-level, detail-sparse explanations—particularly those offered in biology—can be at least as explanatorily valuable as lower-level counterparts. The motivating idea is that complete explanations maximize causal economy: they cite those aspects of an event’s causal run-up that offer the biggest-bang-for-your-buck, by costing less (in virtue of being abstract) and delivering more (in virtue making the event stable or robust).
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  25. Robust Biomarkers: Methodologically Tracking Causal Processes in Alzheimer’s Measurement.Vadim Keyser & Louis Sarry - 2020 - In Barbara Osimani & Adam La Caze (eds.), Uncertainty in Pharmacology. pp. 289-318.
    In biomedical measurement, biomarkers are used to achieve reliable prediction of, and useful causal information about patient outcomes while minimizing complexity of measurement, resources, and invasiveness. A biomarker is an assayable metric that discloses the status of a biological process of interest, be it normative, pathophysiological, or in response to intervention. The greatest utility from biomarkers comes from their ability to help clinicians (and researchers) make and evaluate clinical decisions. In this paper we discuss a specific methodological use of (...)
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  26. No Levels, No Problems: Downward Causation in Neuroscience.Markus Eronen - 2013 - Philosophy of Science 80 (5):1042-1052.
    I show that the recent account of levels in neuroscience proposed by Craver and Bechtel is unsatisfactory since it fails to provide a plausible criterion for being at the same level and is incompatible with Craver and Bechtel’s account of downward causation. Furthermore, I argue that no distinct notion of levels is needed for analyzing explanations and causal issues in neuroscience: it is better to rely on more well-defined notions such as composition and scale. One outcome of this is (...)
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  27. Causal Mechanisms and the Philosophy of Causation.Ruth Groff - manuscript
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  28. Natural Philosophy and the Use of Causal Terminology: A Puzzle in Reid's Account of Natural Philosophy.Aaron D. Cobb - 2010 - Journal of Scottish Philosophy 8 (2):101-114.
    Thomas Reid thinks of natural philosophy as a purely nomothetic enterprise but he maintains that it is proper for natural philosophers to employ causal terminology in formulating their explanatory claims. In this paper, I analyze this puzzle in light of Reid's distinction between efficient and physical causation – a distinction he grounds in his strict understanding of active powers. I consider several possible reasons that Reid may have for maintaining that natural philosophers ought to employ causal terminology (...)
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  29. A Weakened Mechanism is Still a Mechanism: On the Causal Role of Absences in Mechanistic Explanation.Alexander Mebius - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 45 (1):43-48.
    Much contemporary debate on the nature of mechanisms centers on the issue of modulating negative causes. One type of negative causability, which I refer to as “causation by absence,” appears difficult to incorporate into modern accounts of mechanistic explanation. This paper argues that a recent attempt to resolve this problem, proposed by Benjamin Barros, requires improvement as it overlooks the fact that not all absences qualify as sources of mechanism failure. I suggest that there are a number of additional types (...)
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  30. Sensitivity, Causality, and Statistical Evidence in Courts of Law.Michael Blome-Tillmann - 2015 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 4 (2):102-112.
    Recent attempts to resolve the Paradox of the Gatecrasher rest on a now familiar distinction between individual and bare statistical evidence. This paper investigates two such approaches, the causal approach to individual evidence and a recently influential (and award-winning) modal account that explicates individual evidence in terms of Nozick's notion of sensitivity. This paper offers counterexamples to both approaches, explicates a problem concerning necessary truths for the sensitivity account, and argues that either view is implausibly committed to the impossibility (...)
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  31. Is There Room in Quantum Ontology for a Genuine Causal Role for Consciousness?Paavo Pylkkänen - 2017 - In E. Haven & A. Khrennikov (eds.), The Palgrave Handbook of Quantum Models in Social Science: Applications and Grand Challenges. London: Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 293-317.
    Western philosophy and science have a strongly dualistic tradition regarding the mental and physical aspects of reality, which makes it difficult to understand their possible causal relations. In recent debates in cognitive neuroscience it has been common to claim on the basis of neural experiments that conscious experiences are causally inefficacious. At the same time there is much evidence that consciousness does play an important role in guiding behavior. The author explores whether a new way of understanding the (...)
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  32. Philip Gerrans, The Measure of Madness. Philosophy of Mind, Cognitive Neuroscience, and Delusional Thought, MIT Press Cambridge, Massachusetts – London, 2014, pp. 274. [REVIEW]E. Loria - 2017 - Aphex 15:1-13.
    The Australian philosopher Philip Gerrans ambitiously tries to provide a general theory about the formation of delusions that should enclose neuronal, cognitive and phenomenological levels of description. His theory is defined as narrative and it is grounded on the so called “default thoughts”, that consist in simulations, autobiographical narrative fragments produced by the Default Mode Network (DMN). The DMN is a powerful simulation system that evolved to allow humans to simulate and imagine experiences in the absence of an eliciting stimulus. (...)
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  33. Causality in Medicine with Particular Reference to the Viral Causation of Cancers.Brendan Clarke - 2011 - Dissertation, University College London
    In this thesis, I give a metascientific account of causality in medicine. I begin with two historical cases of causal discovery. These are the discovery of the causation of Burkitt’s lymphoma by the Epstein-Barr virus, and of the various viral causes suggested for cervical cancer. These historical cases then support a philosophical discussion of causality in medicine. This begins with an introduction to the Russo- Williamson thesis (RWT), and discussion of a range of counter-arguments against it. Despite these, I (...)
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  34. The Enactive Philosophy of Embodiment: From Biological Foundations of Agency to the Phenomenology of Subjectivity.Mog Stapleton & Froese Tom - 2016 - In Miguel García-Valdecasas, José Ignacio Murillo & Nathaniel Barrett (eds.), Biology and Subjectivity Philosophical Contributions to Non-reductive Neuroscience. Springer Verlag. pp. 113-129.
    Following the philosophy of embodiment of Merleau-Ponty, Jonas and others, enactivism is a pivot point from which various areas of science can be brought into a fruitful dialogue about the nature of subjectivity. In this chapter we present the enactive conception of agency, which, in contrast to current mainstream theories of agency, is deeply and strongly embodied. In line with this thinking we argue that anything that ought to be considered a genuine agent is a biologically embodied (even if (...)
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  35. How Anti-Humeans Can Embrace a Thermodynamic Reduction of Time’s Causal Arrow.Eli I. Lichtenstein - 2021 - Philosophy of Science 88 (5):1161-1171.
    Some argue that time’s causal arrow is grounded in an underlying thermodynamic asymmetry. Often, this is tied to Humean skepticism that causes produce their effects, in any robust sense of ‘produce’. Conversely, those who advocate stronger notions of natural necessity often reject thermodynamic reductions of time’s causal arrow. Against these traditional pairings, I argue that ‘reduction-plus-production’ is coherent. Reductionists looking to invoke robust production can insist that there are metaphysical constraints on the signs of objects’ velocities in any (...)
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  36.  59
    Life in the Interstices: Systems Biology and Process Thought.Joseph E. Earley - 2014 - In Spyridon A. Koutroufinis (ed.), Life and Process: Towards a New Biophilosophy. De Gruyter. pp. 157-170.
    When a group of processes achieves such closure that a set of states of affairs recurs continually, then the effect of that coherence on the world differs from what would occur in the absence of that closure. Such altered effectiveness is an attribute of the system as a whole, and would have consequences. This indicates that the network of processes, as a unit, has ontological significance. Whenever a network of processes generates continual return to a limited set of states of (...)
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  37. In Defense of the Agent and Patient Distinction: The Case From Molecular Biology and Chemistry.Davis White Kuykendall - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    In this paper, I defend the agent/patient distinction against critics who argue that causal interactions are symmetrical. Specifically, I argue that there is a widespread type of causal interaction between distinct entities, resulting in a type of ontological asymmetry that provides principled grounds for distinguishing agents from patients. The type of interaction where the asymmetry is found is when one of the entities undergoes a change in kind, structure, powers, or intrinsic properties as a result of the interaction (...)
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  38. The Routledge Handbook of the Philosophy of Childhood and Children.Anca Gheaus, Gideon Calder & Jurgen De Wispelaere (eds.) - 2018 - Routledge.
    Childhood looms large in our understanding of human life as it is a phase through which all adults have passed. Childhood is foundational to the development of selfhood, the formation of interests, values and skills and to the lifespan as a whole. Understanding what it is like to be a child, and what differences childhood makes, are essential for any broader understanding of the human condition. The Routledge Handbook of the Philosophy of Childhood and Children is an outstanding reference (...)
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  39.  35
    Causal Inference in Biomedical Research.Tudor M. Baetu - 2020 - Biology and Philosophy 35 (4):1-19.
    Current debates surrounding the virtues and shortcomings of randomization are symptomatic of a lack of appreciation of the fact that causation can be inferred by two distinct inference methods, each requiring its own, specific experimental design. There is a non-statistical type of inference associated with controlled experiments in basic biomedical research; and a statistical variety associated with randomized controlled trials in clinical research. I argue that the main difference between the two hinges on the satisfaction of the comparability requirement, which (...)
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  40. A Multi-Scale View of the Emergent Complexity of Life: A Free-Energy Proposal.Casper Hesp, Maxwell Ramstead, Axel Constant, Paul Badcock, Michael David Kirchhoff & Karl Friston - forthcoming - In Michael Price & John Campbell (eds.), Evolution, Development, and Complexity: Multiscale Models in Complex Adaptive Systems.
    We review some of the main implications of the free-energy principle (FEP) for the study of the self-organization of living systems – and how the FEP can help us to understand (and model) biotic self-organization across the many temporal and spatial scales over which life exists. In order to maintain its integrity as a bounded system, any biological system - from single cells to complex organisms and societies - has to limit the disorder or dispersion (i.e., the long-run entropy) of (...)
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  41. Causation, Norms, and Omissions: A Study of Causal Judgments.Randolph Clarke, Joshua Shepherd, John Stigall, Robyn Repko Waller & Chris Zarpentine - 2015 - Philosophical Psychology 28 (2):279-293.
    Many philosophical theories of causation are egalitarian, rejecting a distinction between causes and mere causal conditions. We sought to determine the extent to which people's causal judgments discriminate, selecting as causes counternormal events—those that violate norms of some kind—while rejecting non-violators. We found significant selectivity of this sort. Moreover, priming that encouraged more egalitarian judgments had little effect on subjects. We also found that omissions are as likely as actions to be judged as causes, and that counternormative selectivity (...)
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  42. On the Classification of Diseases.Benjamin Smart - 2014 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 35 (4):251-269.
    Identifying the necessary and sufficient conditions for individuating and classifying diseases is a matter of great importance in the fields of law, ethics, epidemiology, and of course, medicine. In this paper, I first propose a means of achieving this goal, ensuring that no two distinct disease-types could correctly be ascribed to the same disease-token. I then posit a metaphysical ontology of diseases—that is, I give an account of what a disease is. This is essential to providing the most effective means (...)
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  43. God, Causality, and Petitionary Prayer.Caleb Murray Cohoe - 2014 - Faith and Philosophy 31 (1):24-45.
    Many maintain that petitionary prayer is pointless. I argue that the theist can defend petitionary prayer by giving a general account of how divine and creaturely causation can be compatible and complementary, based on the claim that the goodness of something depends on its cause. I use Thomas Aquinas’s metaphysical framework to give an account that explains why a world with creaturely causation better reflects God’s goodness than a world in which God brought all things about immediately. In such a (...)
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  44. Absence Causation and a Liberal Theory of Causal Explanation.Zhiheng Tang - 2015 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 93 (4):688-705.
    For the framework of event causation—i.e. the framework according to which causation is a relation between events—absences or omissions pose a problem. Absences, it is generally agreed, are not events; so, under the framework of event causation, they cannot be causally related. But, as a matter of fact, absences are often taken to be causes or effects. The problem of absence causation is thus how to make sense of causation that apparently involves absences as causes or effects. In an influential (...)
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  45.  85
    Perception, Causally Efficacious Particulars, and the Range of Phenomenal Consciousness: Reply to Commentaries.Christian Coseru - 2015 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 22 (9-10):55-82.
    This paper responds to critical commentaries on my book, Perceiving Reality (OUP, 2012), by Laura Guerrero, Matthew MacKenzie, and Anand Vaidya. Guerrero focuses on the metaphysics of causation, and its role in the broader question of whether the ‘two truths’ framework of Buddhist philosophy can be reconciled with the claim that science provides the best account of our experienced world. MacKenzie pursues two related questions: (i) Is reflexive awareness (svasaṃvedana) identical with the subjective pole of a dual-aspect cognition or (...)
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  46. Consciousness and Causation in Whitehead's Phenomenology of Becoming.Anderson Weekes - 2009 - In Michel Weber & Anderson Weekes (eds.), Process Approaches to Consciousness in Psychology, Neuroscience, and Philosophy of Mind. aLBANY: State University of New York Press. pp. 407-461.
    The problem causation poses is: how can we ever know more than a Humean regularity. The problem consciousness poses is: how can subjective phenomenal experience arise from something lacking experience. A recent turn in the consciousness debates suggest that the hard problem of consciousness is nothing more than the Humean problem of explaining any causal nexus in an intelligible way. This involution of the problems invites comparison with the theories of Alfred North Whitehead, who also saw them related in (...)
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  47. Probabilistic Causation and Causal Processes: A Critique of Lewis.Peter Menzies - 1989 - Philosophy of Science 56 (4):642-663.
    This paper examines a promising probabilistic theory of singular causation developed by David Lewis. I argue that Lewis' theory must be made more sophisticated to deal with certain counterexamples involving pre-emption. These counterexamples appear to show that in the usual case singular causation requires an unbroken causal process to link cause with effect. I propose a new probabilistic account of singular causation, within the framework developed by Lewis, which captures this intuition.
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  48.  41
    Binding Specificity and Causal Selection in Drug Design.Oliver M. Lean - 2020 - Philosophy of Science 87 (1):70-90.
    Binding specificity is a centrally important concept in molecular biology, yet it has received little philosophical attention. Here I aim to remedy this by analyzing binding specificity as a causal property. I focus on the concept’s role in drug design, where it is highly prized and hence directly studied. From a causal perspective, understanding why binding specificity is a valuable property of drugs contributes to an understanding of causal selection—of how and why scientists distinguish between causes, (...)
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  49. The Explanatory Indispensability of Memory Traces.Felipe De Brigard - 2020 - The Harvard Review of Philosophy 27:23-47.
    During the first half of the twentieth century, many philosophers of memory opposed the postulation of memory traces based on the claim that a satisfactory account of remembering need not include references to causal processes involved in recollection. However, in 1966, an influential paper by Martin and Deutscher showed that causal claims are indeed necessary for a proper account of remembering. This, however, did not settle the issue, as in 1977 Malcolm argued that even if one were to (...)
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  50. Genetic Traits and Causal Explanation.Robert Northcott - 2012 - In Kathryn Plaisance & Thomas Reydon (eds.), Philosophy of Behavioral Biology. Springer. pp. 65-82.
    I use a contrastive theory of causal explanation to analyze the notion of a genetic trait. The resulting definition is relational, an implication of which is that no trait is genetic always and everywhere. Rather, every trait may be either genetic or non-genetic, depending on explanatory context. I also outline some other advantages of connecting the debate to the wider causation literature, including how that yields us an account of the distinction between genetic traits and genetic dispositions.
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