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Pearson's wrong turning: against statistical measures of causal efficacy

Northcott, Robert (2004) Pearson's wrong turning: against statistical measures of causal efficacy. In: [2004] Philosophy of Science Assoc. 19th Biennial Meeting - PSA2004: Contributed Papers (Austin, TX; 2004) > PSA 2004 Contributed Papers. (In Press)

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    Abstract

    Standard statistical measures of strength of association, although pioneered by Pearson deliberately to be acausal, nowadays are routinely used to measure causal efficacy. But their acausal origins have left them ill suited to this latter purpose. I distinguish between two different conceptions of causal efficacy, and argue that: 1) Both conceptions can be useful 2) The statistical measures only attempt to capture the first of them 3) They are not fully successful even at this 4) An alternative definition more squarely based on causal thinking not only captures the second conception, it can also capture the first one better too.


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    Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
    Keywords: causation, causal efficacy, statistics, Karl Pearson, correlation coefficient, analysis of variance
    Subjects: Specific Sciences > Probability/Statistics
    General Issues > Causation
    Conferences and Volumes: [2004] Philosophy of Science Assoc. 19th Biennial Meeting - PSA2004: Contributed Papers (Austin, TX; 2004) > PSA 2004 Contributed Papers
    Depositing User: Robert Northcott
    Date Deposited: 16 Nov 2004
    Last Modified: 07 Oct 2010 11:13
    Item ID: 2081
    Public Domain: Yes
    Conference Date: November 2004
    Conference Location: Austin TX
    URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/2081

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