PhilSci Archive

Constitution and Causal Roles

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

WarningThere is a more recent version of this item available.

Download (386kB) | Preview


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.

Export/Citation: EndNote | BibTeX | Dublin Core | ASCII/Text Citation (Chicago) | HTML Citation | OpenURL
Social Networking:
Share |

Item Type: Preprint
Casini, Lorenzolorenzo.casini@unige.ch0000-0001-9891-7324
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

Available Versions of this Item

Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Monthly Downloads for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item