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Explanatory Autonomy: the role of proportionality, stability and conditional irrelevance

Woodward, James (2018) Explanatory Autonomy: the role of proportionality, stability and conditional irrelevance. [Preprint]

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This paper responds to recent criticisms of the idea that true causal claims, satisfying a minimal “interventionist” criterion for causation, can differ in the extent to which they satisfy other conditions—called stability and proportionality—that are relevant to their use in explanatory theorizing. It reformulates the notion of proportionality so as to avoid problems with previous formulations. It also introduces the notion of conditional independence or irrelevance, which I claim is central to understanding the respects and the extent to which upper level explanations can be “autonomous”.

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Item Type: Preprint
Additional Information: This paper is forthcoming in Synthese. It is a more recent version of a paper posted in the archive under the title "Response to Franklin-Hall and Weslake on Stability and Proportionality"
Keywords: Explanatory Autonomy, Proportionality, Stability, Conditional Irrelevance
Subjects: General Issues > Causation
Depositing User: Jim Woodward
Date Deposited: 25 Dec 2018 21:40
Last Modified: 25 Dec 2018 21:40
Item ID: 15468
DOI or Unique Handle:
Subjects: General Issues > Causation
Date: 16 October 2018

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