Causality in the Sciences

Author: Phyllis McKay Illari,Federica Russo,Jon Williamson

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199574138

Category: Mathematics

Page: 938

View: 9987

DOWNLOAD NOW »
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

Philosophical Theory Meets Scientific Practice

Author: Phyllis McKay Illari,Federica Russo

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

ISBN: 0199662673

Category: Mathematics

Page: 328

View: 5705

DOWNLOAD NOW »
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.

The Art of Causal Conjecture

Author: Glenn Shafer

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 9780262193689

Category: Computers

Page: 511

View: 1058

DOWNLOAD NOW »
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.

The Metaphysics of Science

An Account of Modern Science in terms of Principles, Laws and Theories

Author: Craig Dilworth

Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media

ISBN: 9401586217

Category: Science

Page: 246

View: 4300

DOWNLOAD NOW »
The roots of this work lie in my earlier book, Scientific Progress, which first appeared in 1981. One of its topics, the distinction between scientific laws and theories, is there treated with reference to the same distinction as drawn by N. R. Campbell in his Physics: The Elements. Shortly after completing Scientific Progress, I read Rom Harre's The Principles of Scientific Thinking, in which the concept of theory is even more clearly delineated than in Campbell, being directly con nected to the notion of a model - as it was in my book. In subsequent considerations regarding science, Harre's work thus became my main source of inspiration with regard to theories, while Campbell's re mained my main source with respect to empiricallaws. Around the same time I also read William Whewell's Philosophy of the Inductive Sciences. In this work, Whewell depicts principles as playing a central role in the formation of science, and conceives of them in much the same way as Kant conceives of fundamental syn thetic a priori judgements. The idea that science should have principles as a basic element immediately made sense to me, and from that time I have thought of science in terms of laws, theories and principles.

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: 7204

DOWNLOAD NOW »
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.

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: 5085

DOWNLOAD NOW »
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: 1938

DOWNLOAD NOW »
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.

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: 8658

DOWNLOAD NOW »
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.

Causality

Author: Judea Pearl

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 052189560X

Category: Computers

Page: 464

View: 6815

DOWNLOAD NOW »
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,...

Causality in Sociological Research

Author: Jakub Karpinski

Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media

ISBN: 9400904959

Category: Social Science

Page: 192

View: 7862

DOWNLOAD NOW »
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.

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: 2366

DOWNLOAD NOW »
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.

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: 3244

DOWNLOAD NOW »
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.

Causation: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Stephen Mumford,Rani Lill Anjum

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 019968443X

Category: Philosophy

Page: 128

View: 451

DOWNLOAD NOW »
Without cause and effect, there would be no science or technology, no moral responsibility, and no system of law. Causation is therefore the most fundamental connection in the universe and a core topic of philosophical thought. This Very Short Introduction introduces all of the main theories of causation and its key debates.

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: 9794

DOWNLOAD NOW »
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: 9887

DOWNLOAD NOW »
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.

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: 3263

DOWNLOAD NOW »
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.

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: 6286

DOWNLOAD NOW »
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.

Linguistic Fuzzy Logic Methods in Social Sciences

Author: Badredine Arfi

Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media

ISBN: 3642133428

Category: Computers

Page: 185

View: 4417

DOWNLOAD NOW »
The book, titled “Linguistic Fuzzy-Logic Methods in Social Sciences,” is a first in its kind. Linguistic fuzzy logic theory deals with sets or categories whose boundaries are blurry or, in other words, “fuzzy,” and which are expressed in a formalism that uses “words” to compute, not numbers, termed in engineering as “soft computing.” This book presents an accessible introduction to this linguistic fuzzy logic methodology, focusing on its applicability to social sciences. Specifically, this is the first book to propose an approach based on linguistic fuzzy-logic and the method of computing with words to the analysis of decision making processes, strategic interactions, causality, and data analysis in social sciences. The project consists of systematic, theoretical and practical discussions and developments of these new methods as well as their applications to various substantive issues of interest to international relations scholars, political scientists, and social scientists in general.

Epistemology, Methodology, and the Social Sciences

Author: Robert S. Cohen,Marx W. Wartofsky

Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media

ISBN: 9401714584

Category: Science

Page: 270

View: 4578

DOWNLOAD NOW »
The last decades have seen major reformations in the philosophy and history of science. What has been called 'post-positivist' philosophy of science has introduced radically new concerns with historical, social, and valuative components of scientific thought in the natural sciences, and has raised up the demons of relativism, subjectivism and sociologism to haunt the once calm precincts of objectivity and realism. Though these disturbances intruded upon what had seemed to be the logically well-ordered domain of the philoso phy of the natural sciences, they were no news to the social sciences. There, the messy business of human action, volition, decision, the considerations of practical purposes and social values, the role of ideology and the problem of rationality, had long conspired to defeat logical-reconstructionist programs. The attempt to tarne the social sciences to the harness of a strict hypothetico deductive model of explanation failed. Within the social sciences, phenome nological, Marxist, hermeneuticist, action-theoretical approaches vied in attempting to capture the distinctiveness of human phenomena. In fact, the philosophy of the natural sciences, even in its 'hard' forms, has itself become infected with the increasing reflection upon the role of such social-scientific categories, in the attempt to understand the nature of the scientific enterprise.