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Causal Interpretations of Probability

Pietsch, Wolfgang (2015) Causal Interpretations of Probability. [Preprint]

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Abstract

The prospects of a causal interpretation of probability are examined. Various accounts both from the history of scientific method and from recent developments in the tradition of the method of arbitrary functions, in particular by Strevens, Rosenthal, and Abrams, are briefly introduced and assessed. I then present a specific account of causal probability with the following features: (i) First, the link between causal probability and a particular account of induction and causation is established, namely eliminative induction and the related difference-making account of causation in the tradition of Bacon, Herschel, and Mill. (ii) Second, it is shown how a causal approach is useful beyond applications of the method of arbitrary functions and is able to deal with various shades of both ontic and epistemic probabilities. Furthermore, I clarify the notion of causal symmetry as a central element of an objective version of the principle of indifference and relate probabilistic independence to causal irrelevance.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Pietsch, Wolfgangpietsch@cvl-a.tum.de
Keywords: causation; probability; method of arbitrary functions; eliminative induction; principle of indifference; symmetry; independence
Subjects: General Issues > Causation
General Issues > Confirmation/Induction
General Issues > Determinism/Indeterminism
Specific Sciences > Probability/Statistics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Statistical Mechanics/Thermodynamics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Symmetries/Invariances
Depositing User: Wolfgang Pietsch
Date Deposited: 10 Feb 2015 23:20
Last Modified: 10 Feb 2015 23:20
Item ID: 11315
Subjects: General Issues > Causation
General Issues > Confirmation/Induction
General Issues > Determinism/Indeterminism
Specific Sciences > Probability/Statistics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Statistical Mechanics/Thermodynamics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Symmetries/Invariances
Date: 10 February 2015
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/11315

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