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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

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Abstract

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: http://www.collegepublications.co.uk/
Additional Information: © 2007 College Publications
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Q Science > Q Science (General)
Sets: Research centres and groups > Centre for Philosophy of Natural and Social Science (CPNSS)
Rights: http://www.lse.ac.uk/library/usingTheLibrary/academicSupport/OA/depositYourResearch.aspx
Date Deposited: 08 Jun 2011 11:04
URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/36503/

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