Download PDF by A. Reutlinger: A Theory of Causation in the Social and Biological Sciences

By A. Reutlinger

ISBN-10: 1137281049

ISBN-13: 9781137281043

ISBN-10: 1349447994

ISBN-13: 9781349447992

This primary complete size therapy of interventionist theories of causation within the social sciences, the organic sciences and different higher-level sciences the offers unique counter arguments to contemporary tendencies within the debate and serves as worthwhile advent to the topic.

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Extra info for A Theory of Causation in the Social and Biological Sciences

Example text

The set is exhaustive if – as we suppose in the example – Mary’s income has to be either high or low, and there is no further value that it might take – for example, ‘medium’ income. Let me now turn to the remaining ingredients of a graph. I will introduce edges and arrows. In a graph the variables in V correspond to nodes, which are connected by edges. 3). In the causal modelling literature, undirected edges represent correlations. 4). A directed edge is the shortest directed path in a graph. Although we are interested in causal graphs, there is no formal reason to interpret directed edges causally.

Assigning a value (which is a member of the set of possible values associated with a variable) to a variable, we may write a basic event statement of the form X = x or Y = y. Statements of this form can be used to express information about quantitative eventtypes, qualitative event-types, and actual event-tokens of a quantitative or qualitative event-type. A basic event-type statement asserts that a variable takes one of its possible values. Basic event statements can be used to build complex statements by linking basic statements via logical connectives, such as the following complex statement X = x and Y = y, not-Y = y, X = x or Y = z, if X = x, then Y = y, if X = x and not-Y = y, then Z = z and so on.

This is a complicated and demanding epistemological problem that (a) is not a unique problem of the interventionist theory (other approaches to causation), and that (b) has been the subject of an extensive debate about scientific realism and the epistemological status of models in the sciences. However, the models to which interventionists refer when they define causal concepts are not immediately in danger of being free-floating imaginations unsupported by evidence, because they are closely tied to methodologies of evidence for causal models.

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A Theory of Causation in the Social and Biological Sciences by A. Reutlinger


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