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Causation in Science

Woodward, James (2015) Causation in Science. [Preprint]

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Abstract

This article discusses some philosophical theories of causation and their application to several areas of science. Topics addressed include regularity, counterfactual, and causal process theories of causation; the causal interpretation of structural equation models and directed graphs; independence assumptions in causal reasoning; and the role of causal concepts in physics. In connection with this last topic, this article focuses on the relationship between causal asymmetries, the time-reversal invariance of most fundamental physical laws, and the significance of differences among varieties of differential equations (e.g., hyperbolic versus non-hyperbolic) in causal interpretation. It concludes with some remarks about “grounding” special science causal generalizations in physics.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Woodward, Jamesjfw@pitt.edu
Additional Information: This is a much longer on-line version of a shorter paper with the same title that will appear in Paul Humphreys (ed.) Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Science
Keywords: causation, structural equations, directed graphs, causal asymmetry
Subjects: General Issues > Causation
General Issues > Explanation
Specific Sciences > Probability/Statistics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Symmetries/Invariances
Depositing User: Jim Woodward
Date Deposited: 28 Oct 2015 13:09
Last Modified: 28 Oct 2015 13:09
Item ID: 11738
Subjects: General Issues > Causation
General Issues > Explanation
Specific Sciences > Probability/Statistics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Symmetries/Invariances
Date: October 2015
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/11738

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