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From metaphysics to method: comments on manipulability and the causal Markov condition

Cartwright, Nancy (2006) From metaphysics to method: comments on manipulability and the causal Markov condition. The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, 57 (1). pp. 197-218. ISSN 0007-0882

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Abstract

Daniel Hausman and James Woodward claim to prove that the causal Markov condition, so important to Bayes-nets methods for causal inference, is the ‘flip side’ of an important metaphysical fact about causation—that causes can be used to manipulate their effects. This paper disagrees. First, the premise of their proof does not demand that causes can be used to manipulate their effects but rather that if a relation passes a certain specific kind of test, it is causal. Second, the proof is invalid. Third, the kind of testability they require can easily be had without the causal Markov condition.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: http://bjps.oxfordjournals.org/
Additional Information: (c) 2006 Oxford University Press
Library of Congress subject classification: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
Sets: Research centres and groups > Centre for Philosophy of Natural and Social Science (CPNSS)
Departments > Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method
Rights: http://www.lse.ac.uk/library/usingTheLibrary/academicSupport/OA/depositYourResearch.aspx
Date Deposited: 05 Oct 2007
URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/2791/

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