Interdefining causation and intervention

Dialectica 63 (2):175-194 (2009)

Abstract

Non-reductive interventionist theories of causation and methodologies of causal reasoning embedded in that theoretical framework have become increasingly popular in recent years. This paper argues that one variant of an interventionist account of causation, viz. the one presented, for example, in Woodward (2003 ), is unsuited as a theoretical fundament of interventionist methodologies of causal reasoning, because it renders corresponding methodologies incapable of uncovering a causal structure in a finite number of steps. This finding runs counter to Woodward's own assessment and to other recent studies which presume that Woodward's version of interventionism is effectively applicable to uncover causal structures, e.g. Campbell (2007 ) or Shapiro and Sober (2007 ).

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Michael Baumgartner
Bergen University

References found in this work

Causality: Models, Reasoning and Inference.Judea Pearl - 2000 - Cambridge University Press.
Making Things Happen. A Theory of Causal Explanation.Michael Strevens - 2007 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 74 (1):233-249.
Causality and Explanation.Wesley C. Salmon - 1997 - Oxford University Press.
Physical Causation.Phil Dowe - 2000 - Cambridge University Press.

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Citations of this work

Interventionism and Epiphenomenalsim.Michael Baumgartner - 2010 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 40 (3):359-383.
Methodology, Ontology, and Interventionism.James Woodward - 2015 - Synthese 192 (11):3577-3599.
Mechanistic Constitution in Neurobiological Explanations.Jens Harbecke - 2010 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 24 (3):267-285.
The Agency Theory of Causality, Anthropomorphism, and Simultaneity.Marco Buzzoni - 2014 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 28 (4):375-395.

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