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Measuring Causal Specificity. Supplementary Online Materials

Griffiths, Paul E. and Pocheville, Arnaud and Calcott, Brett and Stotz, Karola and Kim, Hyunju and Knight, Rob (2015) Measuring Causal Specificity. Supplementary Online Materials. UNSPECIFIED.

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Several authors have argued that causes differ in the degree to which they are ‘specific’ to their effects. Woodward has used this idea to enrich his influential interventionist theory of causal explanation. Here we propose a way to measure causal specificity using tools from information theory. We show that the specificity of a causal variable is not well-defined without a probability distribution over the states of that variable. We demonstrate the tractability and interest of our proposed measure by measuring the specificity of coding DNA and other factors in a simple model of the production of mRNA.

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Item Type: Other
Griffiths, Paul
Additional Information: Supplementary online materials
Keywords: causality, causal specificity, information theory, intervention
Depositing User: Dr Arnaud Pocheville
Date Deposited: 30 Jul 2015 14:24
Last Modified: 30 Jul 2015 14:24
Item ID: 11593
Journal or Publication Title: Philosophy of Science
Date: 2015
Volume: 82
Number: 4

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