Causal Models and Metaphysics - Part 2: Interpreting Causal Models

Philosophy Compass (forthcoming)
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Abstract

This paper addresses the question of what constitutes an apt interpreted model for the purpose of analyzing causation. I first collect universally adopted aptness principles into a basic account, flagging open questions and choice points along the way. I then explore various additional aptness principles that have been proposed in the literature but have not been widely adopted, the motivations behind their proposals, and the concerns with each that stand in the way of universal adoption. I conclude that the remaining work of articulating aptness for a SEM analysis of causation is tied up with issue to do with modality, ontology, and mereology. Continuing this work is therefore likely to shed light on the relationship between these areas and causation more generally.

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Jennifer McDonald
Columbia University

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References found in this work

Causality: Models, Reasoning and Inference.Judea Pearl - 2000 - New York: Cambridge University Press.
Idealization and the Aims of Science.Angela Potochnik - 2017 - Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Counterfactuals.David Lewis - 1973 - Foundations of Language 13 (1):145-151.

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