Causality in the Sciences

Causality in the Sciences

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There is a need for integrated thinking about causality, probability and mechanisms in scientific methodology. Causality and probability are long-established central concepts in the sciences, with a corresponding philosophical literature examining their problems. On the other hand, the philosophical literature examining mechanisms is not long-established, and there is no clear idea of how mechanisms relate to causality and probability. But we need some idea if weare to understand causal inference in the sciences: a panoply of disciplines, ranging from epidemiology to biology, from econometrics to physics, routinely make use of probability, statistics, theory and mechanisms to infer causal relationships. These disciplines have developed very different methods, where causality and probability often seem to have different understandings, and where the mechanisms involved often look very different. This variegated situation raises the question of whether the different sciences are really using different concepts, or whether progress in understanding the tools of causal inference in some sciences can lead to progress in other sciences. The book tackles these questions as well as others concerningthe use of causality in the sciences.Second, neither of the two switches has an a#39;ona#39; or a#39;offa#39; position a€“ there is not necessarily any correlation between the position of a given switch and the state of the light. Figure 8.3 provides a wiring diagram of a double light switch. The light willanbsp;...

Title:Causality in the Sciences
Author:Phyllis Illari, Federica Russo, Jon Williamson
Publisher:OUP Oxford - 2011-03-17


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