Causality in the Sciences

Author: Phyllis McKay Illari,Federica Russo,Jon Williamson

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199574138

Category: Mathematics

Page: 938

View: 5663

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Why do ideas of how mechanisms relate to causality and probability differ so much across the sciences? Can progress in understanding the tools of causal inference in some sciences lead to progress in others? This book tackles these questions and others concerning the use of causality in the sciences.

Causality and Causal Modelling in the Social Sciences

Measuring Variations

Author: Federica Russo

Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media

ISBN: 1402088175

Category: Social Science

Page: 236

View: 8053

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This investigation into causal modelling presents the rationale of causality, i.e. the notion that guides causal reasoning in causal modelling. It is argued that causal models are regimented by a rationale of variation, nor of regularity neither invariance, thus breaking down the dominant Human paradigm. The notion of variation is shown to be embedded in the scheme of reasoning behind various causal models. It is also shown to be latent – yet fundamental – in many philosophical accounts. Moreover, it has significant consequences for methodological issues: the warranty of the causal interpretation of causal models, the levels of causation, the characterisation of mechanisms, and the interpretation of probability. This book offers a novel philosophical and methodological approach to causal reasoning in causal modelling and provides the reader with the tools to be up to date about various issues causality rises in social science.

Causality

Philosophical Theory Meets Scientific Practice

Author: Phyllis McKay Illari,Federica Russo

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

ISBN: 0199662673

Category: Mathematics

Page: 328

View: 1232

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Head hits cause brain damage - but not always. Should we ban sport to protect athletes? Exposure to electromagnetic fields is strongly associated with cancer development - does that mean exposure causes cancer? Should we encourage old fashioned communication instead of mobile phones to reduce cancer rates? According to popular wisdom, the Mediterranean diet keeps you healthy. Is this belief scientifically sound? Should public health bodies encourage consumption of fresh fruit and vegetables? Severe financial constraints on research and public policy, media pressure, and public anxiety make such questions of immense current concern not just to philosophers but to scientists, governments, public bodies, and the general public. In the last decade there has been an explosion of theorizing about causality in philosophy, and also in the sciences. This literature is both fascinating and important, but it is involved and highly technical. This makes it inaccessible to many who would like to use it, philosophers and scientists alike. This book is an introduction to philosophy of causality - one that is highly accessible: to scientists unacquainted with philosophy, to philosophers unacquainted with science, and to anyone else lost in the labyrinth of philosophical theories of causality. It presents key philosophical accounts, concepts and methods, using examples from the sciences to show how to apply philosophical debates to scientific problems.

Models and Methods in the Philosophy of Science: Selected Essays

Author: Patrick Suppes

Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media

ISBN: 9780792322115

Category: Mathematics

Page: 510

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This book publishes 31 of the author's selected papers which have appeared, with one exception, since 1970. The papers cover a wide range of topics in the philosophy of science. Part I is concerned with general methodology, including formal and axiomatic methods in science. Part II is concerned with causality and explanation. The papers extend the author's earlier work on a probabilistic theory of causality. The papers in Part III are concerned with probability and measurement, especially foundational questions about probability. Part IV consists of several papers, including two historical ones, on the foundations of physics, with the main emphasis being on quantum mechanics. Part V, the longest part, is on the foundations of psychology and includes papers mainly on learning and perception. The book is aimed at philosophers of science, scientists concerned with the methodology of the social sciences, and mathematical psychologists interested in theories of learning, perception and measurement.

Causality in Crisis?

Statistical Methods and the Search for Causal Knowledge in the Social Sciences

Author: Vaughn R. McKim,Stephen P. Turner

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: N.A

Category: Social Science

Page: 410

View: 595

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Causality

Author: Judea Pearl

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 052189560X

Category: Computers

Page: 464

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Causality offers the first comprehensive coverage of causal analysis in many sciences, including recent advances using graphical methods. Pearl presents a unified account of the probabilistic, manipulative, counterfactual and structural approaches to causation, and devises simple mathematical tools for analyzing the relationships between causal connections, statistical associations, actions and observations. The book will open the way for including causal analysis in the standard curriculum of statistics, artificial intelligence,...

Causation, Physics, and the Constitution of Reality

Russell's Republic Revisited

Author: Huw Price,Richard Corry

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199278199

Category: Science

Page: 403

View: 1477

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In philosophy as in ordinary life, cause and effect are twin pillars on which much of our thought seems based. But almost a century ago, Bertrand Russell declared that modern physics leaves these pillars without foundations. Russell's revolutionary conclusion was that 'the law of causality is a relic of a bygone age, surviving, like the monarchy, only because it is erroneously supposed to do no harm'. Russell's famous challenge remains unanswered. Despite dramatic advances in physics,the intervening century has taken us no closer to an explanation of how to find a place for causation in a world of the kind that physics reveals. In particular, we still have no satisfactory account of the directionality of causation - the difference between cause and effect, and the fact that causes typically precede their effects. In this important collection of new essays, 13 leading scholars revisit Russell's revolution, in search of reconciliation. The connecting theme in these essays is that to reconcile causation with physics, we need to put ourselves in the picture: we need to think about why creatures in our situation should present their world in causal terms.

Mechanism and Causality in Biology and Economics

Author: Hsiang-Ke Chao,Szu-Ting Chen,Roberta L. Millstein

Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media

ISBN: 9400724543

Category: Philosophy

Page: 256

View: 8368

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This volume addresses fundamental issues in the philosophy of science in the context of two most intriguing fields: biology and economics. Written by authorities and experts in the philosophy of biology and economics, Mechanism and Causality in Biology and Economics provides a structured study of the concepts of mechanism and causality in these disciplines and draws careful juxtapositions between philosophical apparatus and scientific practice. By exploring the issues that are most salient to the contemporary philosophies of biology and economics and by presenting comparative analyses, the book serves as a platform not only for gaining mutual understanding between scientists and philosophers of the life sciences and those of the social sciences, but also for sharing interdisciplinary research that combines both philosophical concepts in both fields. The book begins by defining the concepts of mechanism and causality in biology and economics, respectively. The second and third parts investigate philosophical perspectives of various causal and mechanistic issues in scientific practice in the two fields. These two sections include chapters on causal issues in the theory of evolution; experiments and scientific discovery; representation of causal relations and mechanism by models in economics. The concluding section presents interdisciplinary studies of various topics concerning extrapolation of life sciences and social sciences, including chapters on the philosophical investigation of conjoining biological and economic analyses with, respectively, demography, medicine and sociology.

Causal Inference in Statistics

A Primer

Author: Judea Pearl,Madelyn Glymour,Nicholas P. Jewell

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 1119186854

Category: Mathematics

Page: 160

View: 1094

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Many of the concepts and terminology surrounding modern causal inference can be quite intimidating to the novice. Judea Pearl presents a book ideal for beginners in statistics, providing a comprehensive introduction to the field of causality. Examples from classical statistics are presented throughout to demonstrate the need for causality in resolving decision-making dilemmas posed by data. Causal methods are also compared to traditional statistical methods, whilst questions are provided at the end of each section to aid student learning.

The Art of Causal Conjecture

Author: Glenn Shafer

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 9780262193689

Category: Computers

Page: 511

View: 1590

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In The Art of Causal Conjecture, Glenn Shafer lays out a new mathematical and philosophical foundation for probability and uses it to explain concepts of causality used in statistics, artificial intelligence, and philosophy.The various disciplines that use causal reasoning differ in the relative weight they put on security and precision of knowledge as opposed to timeliness of action. The natural and social sciences seek high levels of certainty in the identification of causes and high levels of precision in the measurement of their effects. The practical sciences--medicine, business, engineering, and artificial intelligence--must act on causal conjectures based on more limited knowledge. Shafer's understanding of causality contributes to both of these uses of causal reasoning. His language for causal explanation can guide statistical investigation in the natural and social sciences, and it can also be used to formulate assumptions of causal uniformity needed for decision making in the practical sciences.Causal ideas permeate the use of probability and statistics in all branches of industry, commerce, government, and science. The Art of Causal Conjecture shows that causal ideas can be equally important in theory. It does not challenge the maxim that causation cannot be proven from statistics alone, but by bringing causal ideas into the foundations of probability, it allows causal conjectures to be more clearly quantified, debated, and confronted by statistical evidence.

Agency and Causation in the Human Sciences

Author: Francesca Castellani,Josef Quitterer

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9783897855731

Category: Act (Philosophy)

Page: 212

View: 7347

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In everyday life, we explain and predict human actions through beliefs and intentions. We also assume the existence of persons who act on the basis of reasons. Naturalist philosophers do not accept this concept of 'agent causality': what common sense and sociological explanations called reasons should be interpreted as normal causes of actions. As a matter of fact social sciences increasingly use the causal model of the natural sciences in order to explain human actions. In this volume leading specialists in action theory discuss the question: Is the causal model of the natural sciences sufficient to explain human actions or can we expect an explanatory advantage from the classical concept of agent causality? Contributors: R. Boudon, F. Castellani, A. Corradini, M. De Caro, S. Galvan, G. Keil, E. J. Lowe, U. Meixner, A. Mele, T. O'Connor, J. Quitterer, E. Runggaldier, A. Varzi, H. Weidemann

Mutual Causality in Buddhism and General Systems Theory

The Dharma of Natural Systems

Author: Joanna Macy

Publisher: SUNY Press

ISBN: 9780791406373

Category: Philosophy

Page: 236

View: 934

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This book brings important new dimensions to the interface between contemporary Western science and ancient Eastern wisdom. Here for the first time the concepts and insights of general systems theory are presented in tandem with those of the Buddha. Remarkable convergences appear between core Buddhist teachings and the systems view of reality, arising in our century from biology and extending into the social and cognitive sciences. Giving a cogent introduction to both bodies of thought, and a fresh interpretation of the Buddha’s core teaching of dependent co-arising, this book shows how their common perspective on causality can inform our lives. The interdependence of all beings provides the context for clarifying both the role of meditative practice and guidelines for effective action on behalf of the common good.

Causal Analysis in Population Studies

Concepts, Methods, Applications

Author: Henriette Engelhardt,Hans-Peter Kohler,Alexia Fürnkranz-Prskawetz

Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media

ISBN: 1402099673

Category: Social Science

Page: 252

View: 1190

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The central aim of many studies in population research and demography is to explain cause-effect relationships among variables or events. For decades, population scientists have concentrated their efforts on estimating the ‘causes of effects’ by applying standard cross-sectional and dynamic regression techniques, with regression coefficients routinely being understood as estimates of causal effects. The standard approach to infer the ‘effects of causes’ in natural sciences and in psychology is to conduct randomized experiments. In population studies, experimental designs are generally infeasible. In population studies, most research is based on non-experimental designs (observational or survey designs) and rarely on quasi experiments or natural experiments. Using non-experimental designs to infer causal relationships—i.e. relationships that can ultimately inform policies or interventions—is a complex undertaking. Specifically, treatment effects can be inferred from non-experimental data with a counterfactual approach. In this counterfactual perspective, causal effects are defined as the difference between the potential outcome irrespective of whether or not an individual had received a certain treatment (or experienced a certain cause). The counterfactual approach to estimate effects of causes from quasi-experimental data or from observational studies was first proposed by Rubin in 1974 and further developed by James Heckman and others. This book presents both theoretical contributions and empirical applications of the counterfactual approach to causal inference.

Die Ordnung der Zeit

Author: Carlo Rovelli

Publisher: Rowohlt Verlag GmbH

ISBN: 3644000751

Category: Science

Page: 192

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Leben wir in der Zeit oder lebt die Zeit vielleicht nur in uns? Alle theoretischen Physiker von Weltrang, die den großen und kleinen Kräften des Universums nachspüren, beschäftigen sich immer wieder mit der entscheidenden Frage, was Zeit ist. Wenn ihre großen Modelle die Zeit zur Erklärung des Elementaren nicht mehr brauchen, wie kommt es dann, dass sie für unser Leben so wichtig ist? Geht es wirklich ohne sie? Carlo Rovelli gibt in diesem Buch überraschende Antworten. Er nimmt uns mit auf eine Reise durch unsere Vorstellungen der von der Zeit und spürt ihren Regeln und Rätseln nach. Ein großes, packend geschriebenes Lese-Abenteuer, ein würdiger Nachfolger des Welt-Bestsellers "Sieben kurze Lektionen über Physik".

Causation, Evidence, and Inference

Author: Julian Reiss

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1317675886

Category: Philosophy

Page: 258

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In this book, Reiss argues in favor of a tight fit between evidence, concept and purpose in our causal investigations in the sciences. There is no doubt that the sciences employ a vast array of techniques to address causal questions such as controlled experiments, randomized trials, statistical and econometric tools, causal modeling and thought experiments. But how do these different methods relate to each other and to the causal inquiry at hand? Reiss argues that there is no "gold standard" in settling causal issues against which other methods can be measured. Rather, the various methods of inference tend to be good only relative to certain interpretations of the word "cause", and each interpretation, in turn, helps to address some salient purpose (prediction, explanation or policy analysis) but not others. The main objective of this book is to explore the metaphysical and methodological consequences of this view in the context of numerous cases studies from the natural and social sciences.

Causality in Sociological Research

Author: Jakub Karpinski

Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media

ISBN: 9400904959

Category: Social Science

Page: 192

View: 5276

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The general treatment of problems connected with the causal conditioning of phenomena has traditionally been the domain of philosophy, but when one examines the relationships taking place in the various fields, the study of such conditionings belongs to the empirical sciences. Sociology is no exception in that respect. In that discipline we note a certain paradox. Many problems connected with the causal conditioning of phenomena have been raised in sociology in relatively recent times, and that process marked its empirical or even so-called empiricist trend. That trend, labelled positivist, seems in this case to be in contradiction with a certain type of positivism. Those authors who describe positivism usually include the Humean tradition in its genealogy and, remembering Hume's criticism of the concept of cause, speak about positivism as about a trend which is inclined to treat lightly the study of causes and confines itself to the statements on co-occurrence of phenomena.

EPSA Philosophical Issues in the Sciences

Launch of the European Philosophy of Science Association

Author: Mauricio Suárez,Mauro Dorato,Miklós Rédei

Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media

ISBN: 9789048132522

Category: Science

Page: 332

View: 1539

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This volume collects papers presented at the Founding Conference of the European Philosophy of Science Association meeting, held November 2007. It provides an excellent overview of the state of the art in philosophy of science in different European countries.

Research Methodology in the Social, Behavioural and Life Sciences

Designs, Models and Methods

Author: Herman J Ader,Gideon J Mellenbergh

Publisher: SAGE

ISBN: 1446205282

Category: Social Science

Page: 416

View: 8721

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This is an ideal text for advanced courses in research methods and experimental design. It argues that the methodology of quantitative research is a unified discipline with basic notions, procedures and ways of reasoning which can be applied across the social, behavioural and life sciences. Key designs, models and methods in research are covered by leading contributors in their field who seek to explain the fundamentals of the research process to enable the student to understand the broader implications and unifying themes.

Causation and Disease

A Chronological Journey

Author: EVANS

Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media

ISBN: 1461530245

Category: Medical

Page: 238

View: 865

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In the front material of this book both a foreword and a preface appear. What the content of a preface should be is well understood. It is the author's retrospective account of intent, of the labors to accomplish that intent, and of the content of the book that resulted. What a foreword should be is less obvious. Most properly, it is perhaps the brief testimony of one who knows the accomplishments of the author and the scope of the field and who may direct readers to the book. On some basis, the writer is assumed to have earned the right to undertake such a task. To undertake the writing of a foreword for so considerable a researcher, teacher, and scholar as Alfred Evans can be seen not only as an honor but also as a daunting one. My first thought, in truth, is that this wine needs no blush and that no foreword is needed. As John Rodman Paul Professor of Epidemiology at Yale, Alfred Evans has an established reputation in the field of causality. We have learned from his insights about the evolution of causal thinking as epidemiology passed from the era of the germ theory into that of the search for causes of chronic noncontagious diseases. It was he who drew attention to the effect of specific context in that evolution.

The Why of Things

Causality in Science, Medicine, and Life

Author: Peter V. Rabins

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 0231535457

Category: Science

Page: 304

View: 6105

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Why was there a meltdown at the Fukushima power plant? Why do some people get cancer and not others? Why is global warming happening? Why does one person get depressed in the face of life's vicissitudes while another finds resilience? Questions like these—questions of causality—form the basis of modern scientific inquiry, posing profound intellectual and methodological challenges for researchers in the physical, natural, biomedical, and social sciences. In this groundbreaking book, noted psychiatrist and author Peter Rabins offers a conceptual framework for analyzing daunting questions of causality. Navigating a lively intellectual voyage between the shoals of strict reductionism and relativism, Rabins maps a three-facet model of causality and applies it to a variety of questions in science, medicine, economics, and more. Throughout this book, Rabins situates his argument within relevant scientific contexts, such as quantum mechanics, cybernetics, chaos theory, and epigenetics. A renowned communicator of complex concepts and scientific ideas, Rabins helps readers stretch their minds beyond the realm of popular literary tipping points, blinks, and freakonomic explanations of the world.