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Constitution and Causal Roles

Casini, Lorenzo and Baumgartner, Michael (2019) Constitution and Causal Roles. [Preprint]

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Abstract

Alexander Gebharter has recently proposed to use Bayesian network causal discovery methods to identify the constitutive dependencies that underwrite mechanistic explanations. The proposal depends on using the assumptions of the causal Bayesian network framework to implicitly define mechanistic constitution as a kind of deterministic direct causal dependence. The aim of this paper is twofold. In the first half, we argue that Gebharter’s proposal incurs
severe conceptual problems. In the second half, we present an alternative way to bring Bayesian network tools to bear on the issue of understanding mechanistic constitution. More precisely, our proposal interprets constitution as the relation explaining why a target phenomenon has its characteristic causal role in terms of the causal roles of some of its spatiotemporal parts---where the notion of causal role is probabilistically understood.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Casini, Lorenzolorenzo.casini@unige.ch0000-0001-9891-7324
Baumgartner, Michaelmichael.baumgartner@uib.no
Keywords: mechanistic explanation; constitution; causal role; Bayesian network; supervenience.
Subjects: General Issues > Causation
General Issues > Explanation
Depositing User: Dr. Lorenzo Casini
Date Deposited: 21 Jan 2019 14:50
Last Modified: 21 Jan 2019 14:50
Item ID: 15651
Subjects: General Issues > Causation
General Issues > Explanation
Date: 21 January 2019
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/15651

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