Reichenbachian Common Cause Clusters

Erkenntnis 87 (4):1707-1735 (2022)
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Abstract

The principle of the common cause demands that every pair of causally independent but statistically correlated events should be the effect of a common cause. This demand is often supplemented with the requirement that said cause should screen-off the two events from each other. This paper introduces a new probabilistic model for common causes, which generalises this requirement to include sets of distinct but non-disjoint causes. It is demonstrated that the model hereby proposed satisfies the explanatory function generally attributed to common causes and an existential proof is offered. Finally, the model is compared to other known structures intended to perform a similar function, such as Reichenbachian Common Cause Systems and Bayesian Networks.

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Author Profiles

Dave Kinkead
University of Queensland
Peter Ellerton
University of Queensland
Deborah Brown
University of Queensland
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References found in this work

The direction of time.Hans Reichenbach - 1956 - Mineola, N.Y.: Dover Publications. Edited by Maria Reichenbach.
Causality.Judea Pearl - 2000 - New York: Cambridge University Press.

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