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::: center home >> events >> salmon >> abstracts

Friday, April 8, 2016

Causation for Philosophical Applications

Christopher Hitchcock, California Institute of Technology
3:30 pm, 817R CL

Abstract: Recent philosophical work on causation has done much to elucidate the epistemology of causation and to elucidate causal concepts within particular scientific fields. However, philosophers are also interested in causation because it appears to be an ingredient in so many other concepts of philosophical interest: moral and legal responsibility, rational decision-making, knowledge and perception, reference, mental causation, events, propensities and dispositions, etc. I will argue that what is needed for these philosophical applications of causation is not an analysis or reduction of causation, but rather a framework for representing different kinds of causal structure and making distinctions. I will illustrate this theme by showing how graphical causal models, given an interventionist interpretation, can be used to shed light on problems in decision theory, the theory of chance, and the metaphysics of events.


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