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The Contextual Character of Causal Evidence

Suárez, Mauricio (2013) The Contextual Character of Causal Evidence. [Preprint]

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Abstract

I argue for the thesis that causal evidence is context-dependent. The same causal claim may be warranted by the same piece of evidence in one context but not another. I show this in particular for the type of causal evidence characteristic of the manipulability theory defended by Jim Woodward (2003). My thesis, however, generalises to other theories – and at the end of the paper I outline the generalization to counterfactual theories. The paradigmatic form of causal evidence in the manipulability theory is provided by tests of the functional invariance of the relation between putative cause and effect under interventions (on the putative cause). I show that such evidence exhibits at least two kinds of context-relativity: personal, or epistemic; and situational, or objective.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Suárez, Mauriciomsuarez@filos.ucm.es
Additional Information: Forthcoming in Topoi, 2013.
Keywords: Causal Inference, Evidence, Contextualism, Interventions, Manipulability Theories of Causation, James Woodward
Subjects: General Issues > Causation
General Issues > History of Philosophy of Science
Depositing User: Mauricio Suárez
Date Deposited: 11 Sep 2013 16:35
Last Modified: 11 Sep 2013 16:35
Item ID: 9991
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.1007/s11245-013-9173-z
Subjects: General Issues > Causation
General Issues > History of Philosophy of Science
Date: 2013
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/9991

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