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Near-Decomposability and the Time-Scale Relativity of Causal Representations

Weinberger, Naftali (2020) Near-Decomposability and the Time-Scale Relativity of Causal Representations. [Preprint]

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Abstract

A common strategy for simplifying complex systems involves partitioning
them into subsystems whose behaviors are roughly independent of one another at shorter time-scales. Dynamic causal models (Iwasaki and Simon, 1994) explain how doing so reveals a system's non-equilibrium causal relationships. Here I use these models to elucidate the idealizations and abstractions involved in representing a system at a time-scale. The models reveal that key features of causal representations - such as which variables are exogenous - may vary with the time-scale at which a system is considered. This has implications for debates regarding which systems can be understood causally.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Weinberger, Naftalinaftali.weinberger@gmail.com
Additional Information: To Appear in Philosophy of Science. Originally presented as part of the symposium "Strategies for dealing with causal complexity"
Subjects: General Issues > Causation
Specific Sciences > Cognitive Science
Specific Sciences > Economics
General Issues > Models and Idealization
Depositing User: Mr. Naftali Weinberger
Date Deposited: 04 Feb 2020 00:09
Last Modified: 04 Feb 2020 00:09
Item ID: 16882
Subjects: General Issues > Causation
Specific Sciences > Cognitive Science
Specific Sciences > Economics
General Issues > Models and Idealization
Date: 2020
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/16882

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