Library Header Image
LSE Research Online LSE Library Services

Time series, nonsense correlations and the principle of the common cause

Reiss, Julian (2007) Time series, nonsense correlations and the principle of the common cause. In: Russo, Federica and Williamson, Jon, (eds.) Causality and Probability in the Sciences. Texts in Philosophy (5). College Publications, London, UK, pp. 179-196. ISBN 1904987354

Full text not available from this repository.


This paper examines some recent defences of the principle of the common cause (PCC) against Elliott Sober’s famous counterexample. There are two lines of attack: attempts to defuse the counterexample, that is, to show that the scenario described by Sober only apparently conflicts with the PCC; and attempts to demonstrate that the counterexample has no practical consequences. I show in this paper that there are problems with both strategies. In response, I formulate an alternative version of the principle that avoids the known counterexamples and that makes its status as fallible epistemic principle explicit.

Item Type: Book Section
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2007 College Publications
Divisions: CPNSS
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Q Science > Q Science (General)
Date Deposited: 08 Jun 2011 11:04
Last Modified: 15 Sep 2023 09:23

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item