Causation in Science

In Paul Humphreys (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Science. Oxford University Press USA. pp. 163-184 (2016)
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Abstract

This article discusses some philosophical theories of causation and their application to several areas of science. Topics addressed include regularity, counterfactual, and causal process theories of causation; the causal interpretation of structural equation models and directed graphs; independence assumptions in causal reasoning; and the role of causal concepts in physics. In connection with this last topic, this article focuses on the relationship between causal asymmetries, the time-reversal invariance of most fundamental physical laws, and the significance of differences among varieties of differential equations in causal interpretation. It concludes with some remarks about “grounding” special science causal generalizations in physics.

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James Woodward
University of Pittsburgh

Citations of this work

The unity and priority arguments for Grounding.Jessica M. Wilson - 2016 - In Ken Aizawa & Carl Gillett (eds.), Scientific Composition and Metaphysical Ground. London: Palgrave-Macmillan. pp. 171-204.
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