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Determinism and the Method of Difference

Hofmann, Urs and Baumgartner, Michael (2011) Determinism and the Method of Difference. THEORIA. An International Journal for Theory, History and Foundations of Science, 26 (2). pp. 155-176. ISSN 2171-679X

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Abstract

The first part of this paper reveals a conflict between the core principles of deterministic causation and the standard method of difference, which is widely seen (and used) as a correct method of causally analyzing deterministic structures. We show that applying the method of difference to deterministic structures can give rise to causal inferences that contradict the principles of deterministic causation. The second part then locates the source of this conflict in an inference rule implemented in the method of difference according to which factors that can make a difference to investigated effects relative to one particular test setup are to be identified as causes, provided the causal background of the corresponding setup is homogeneous. The paper ends by modifying the method of difference in a way that renders it compatible with the principles of deterministic causation.


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Item Type: Published Article or Volume
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Hofmann, Urs
Baumgartner, Michaelmichael.baumgartner@uni-konstanz.de
Additional Information: ISSN: 0495-4548 (print)
Keywords: method of difference; deterministic causation; interventionism; causal discovery; causal reasoning
Depositing User: Users 15304 not found.
Date Deposited: 04 Feb 2014 23:22
Last Modified: 04 Feb 2014 23:22
Item ID: 10278
Journal or Publication Title: THEORIA. An International Journal for Theory, History and Foundations of Science
Publisher: Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea / Universidad del País Vasco
Official URL: http://www.ehu.es/ojs/index.php/THEORIA/article/vi...
DOI or Unique Handle: https://doi.org/10.1387/theoria.988
Date: May 2011
Page Range: pp. 155-176
Volume: 26
Number: 2
ISSN: 2171-679X
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/10278

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