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Causal Modeling and the Efficacy of Action

Andersen, Holly (2022) Causal Modeling and the Efficacy of Action. [Preprint]

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Abstract

This paper brings together Thompson's naive action explanation with interventionist modeling of causal structure to show how they work together to produce causal models that go beyond current modeling capabilities, when applied to specifically selected systems. By deploying well-justified assumptions about rationalization, we can strengthen existing causal modeling techniques' inferential power in cases where we take ourselves to be modeling causal systems that also involve actions. The internal connection between means and end exhibited in naive action explanation has a modal strength like that of distinctively mathematical explanation, rather than that of causal explanation. Because it is stronger than causation, it can be treated as if it were merely causal in a causal model without thereby overextending the justification it can provide for inferences. This chapter introduces and demonstrate the usage of the Rationalization condition in causal modeling, where it is apt for the system(s) being modeled, and to provide the basics for incorporating R variables into systems of variables and R arrows into DAGs. Use of the Rationalization condition supplements causal analysis with action analysis where it is apt.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Andersen, Hollyholly_andersen@sfu.ca0000-0002-7950-8186
Additional Information: In Michael Brent & Lisa Miracchi Titus (eds.), Mental Action and the Conscious Mind. Routledge (forthcoming)
Keywords: causation, causal modelling, explanation, action theory
Subjects: General Issues > Causation
General Issues > Explanation
General Issues > Models and Idealization
Depositing User: Dr. Holly Andersen
Date Deposited: 01 Apr 2022 04:08
Last Modified: 01 Apr 2022 04:08
Item ID: 20408
Subjects: General Issues > Causation
General Issues > Explanation
General Issues > Models and Idealization
Date: 2022
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/20408

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