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Topic: Causation

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In the News (Tue 21 May 19)

  Causality - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The philosophical concept of causality or causation refers to the set of all particular "causal" or "cause-and-effect" relations.
Most generally, causation is a relationship that holds between events, objects, variables, or states of affairs.
The gold standard for causation here is the randomized experiment: take a large number of people, randomly divide them into two groups, force one group to smoke and prohibit the other group from smoking (ideally in a double-blind setup), then determine whether one group develops a significantly higher lung cancer rate.
en.wikipedia.org /wiki/Causation   (3440 words)

 Levels, Emergence, and Three Versions of Downward Causation
The assumption of downward causation most often rests on the idea of `bottom-up' processes involving upward causation, and it is possible that, in turn, upward causation always rests on a certain interpretation of the concept of emergence.
The theory of strong downward causation is based on hypotheses 1b and 2b, it introduces a non-scientific, that is, irrational principle, and violates the assumption of the inclusivity of levels.By considering a cell as an emergent entity on the biological level and its physical basis, this criticism of strong downward causation may be exemplified.
In contrast to medium downward causation it is characterized by not admitting the special interpretation of boundary conditions as constraining conditions, and hence it does not allow the possibility that several higher level phenomena correspond to one and the same lower level phenomenon.
www.nbi.dk /~emmeche/coPubl/2000d.le3DC.v4b.html   (8550 words)

 Probabilistic Causation
The relationship between singular and general causation is discussed in Section 6.3 below; as we shall see, there seems to be some reason to think that probabilistic theories of causation are better suited to analyzing general causation.
The probabilistic theories of causation described in Section 3 above are suited to analyze the total or net effect of one factor or variable on other, whereas the causal modeling techniques discussed in this section are primarily geared toward decomposing a causal system into individual routes of causal influence.
Given the basic probability-raising idea, one would expect putative counterexamples to probabilistic theories of causation to be of two basic types: cases where causes fail to raise the probabilities of their effects, and cases where non-causes raise the probabilities of non-effects.
plato.stanford.edu /entries/causation-probabilistic   (10508 words)

 Causation and the Logical Impossibility of a Divine Cause
As we have seen, the nomological definitions of deterministic causation imply that a particular event c, in conjunction with a law of nature, logically necessitate the event e that is the effect.
The argument is that all cases of causation that are not in dispute are inconsistent with the hypothesis that there is a correct definition of the sort mentioned in (2).
Suppose we have this disjunctive definition of causation: c is a cause of e if and only if c is either a logically sufficient condition of e, or c is not a logically sufficient condition of e and instead satisfies (say) the Humean conditions.
infidels.org /library/modern/quentin_smith/causation.html   (8540 words)

 Correlation implies causation (logical fallacy) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Correlation implies causation, also known as cum hoc ergo propter hoc (Latin for "with this, therefore because of this") and false cause, is a logical fallacy by which two events that occur together are claimed to be cause and effect.
Another observation is that the direction of the causation is wrong and should be the other way around.
The statement "correlation does not imply causation" notes that it is dangerous to deduce causation from a statistical correlation.
en.wikipedia.org /wiki/Correlation_implies_causation   (872 words)

 Genetic Causation and Economic Theory
Our concern is not, except incidentally, with the several concepts of causation derived from this literature, but specifically with the idea of "genetic causation", a concept developed in the context of economics and, more generally, in the disciplines of human action.
Causation at the level of market processes was a key element in the classical conception of competition.
The conception of causation in the Granger-Sims approach is related to Knight's inasmuch as it embodies the functional dependence of one variable on another.
www.cgl.uwaterloo.ca /~racowan/cause.html   (16254 words)

In proving causation in a workers' compensation case where the evidence demonstrates two or more potential causative factors, one of two conclusions follows.
The commission was unwilling to infer causation under the facts of this case.
Although another doctor disagreed with the treating physician’s opinions on causation, credible evidence in the record established a causal connection between the accident on April 29, 1996 and claimant's continued back disability and treatment and his neck injury and treatment.
www.gormannet.com /LegalSummaries-Causation.htm   (7005 words)

 The Metaphysics of Causation
Davidson integrates this response within a general account of causation and explanation, in which causation is an extensional relation that holds between coarse events, while explanation is an intensional relation that holds between the coarse events under a description.
For instance, one might think that a straightforward counterfactual account of causation, on which we check whether e would still have occurred had c not occurred, simply rules that Jane's smoking causes her lung cancer, and that Pablo's choosing blue paint causes the canvas to be blue, full stop.
Causation, according to various contemporary philosophers, is required for the analysis of metaphysical concepts such as persistence, scientific concepts such as explanation and disposition, epistemic concepts such as perception and warrant, ethical concepts such as action and responsibility, mental concepts such as functional role and conceptual content, and linguistic concepts such as reference.
plato.stanford.edu /entries/causation-metaphysics   (12306 words)

 Errors involving causation   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-13)
Another form of the causation fallacy relies upon an established rule of causation, an observed effect and incomplete information about the relevant circumstances to draw an inference about the cause of the effect.
Thus, given the causal law of gravity, it would generally be thought correct to infer that a man seen dropping a brick off a building was the cause of the observation of a brick shattering on the pavement several seconds later.
All three of these temporal sequence/ causation fallacies are also, unfortunately, found in widely-held Christian interpretations of the events of the Bible, world history and predictive prophecy...
www.angelfire.com /ks2/fallacies/fallcaus.htm   (1047 words)

 Fake Barn Country: Backwards Causation
Regularitity theories: Causation (of B by A) is something like constant conjunction in the past of things like B by things like A. Counterfactual theories: Causation (of B by A) is something like counterfactual dependence of B on A, such as that had A not happened B would not have happened.
Energy-flow theories: Causation (of B by A) is a kind of flow or transfer of energy from A to B. Law-based theries: Causation (of B by A) is when B is necessitated or probabilified by the laws of nature by A. OK, so these are very rough.
I agree that the possibility of backwards causation is not sufficient for the possibility of time-travel.
www.brown.edu /Departments/Philosophy/Blog/Archives/004695.html   (1266 words)

 A Defense of Emergent Downward Causation
Mental causation is, however, also in need of defense, for many of it's contemporary defenders have weakened it with faint praise.
Kim defines epiphenomenal causation as a relationship between two events which appears to be a cause and effect relationship, but in fact is merely a reflection of some other underlying causal process.
Therefore, because reduction to some fundamental ontology is not a necessary condition in physics, descriptions of mental causation (such as those provided by psychology{6}) do not have to be on an entirely different footing from physics to escape reduction.
www.california.com /~mcmf/causeweb.html   (12248 words)

The foregoing list of disease causation evidentiary requirements demonstrates that valid epidemiological evidence is the lynchpin of general causation and illustrates the depth to which analytical courts have probed in evaluating general causation testimony in toxic tort cases.
On a motion to exclude the plaintiffs’ expert testimony of causation, the determinative issue was whether the epidemiological evidence relied upon by the plaintiffs’ experts was sufficiently reliable and relevant to establish causation.
But once the theory of causation leaves the realm of lay knowledge for esoteric scientific theories, the scientific theory must be more than a possibility to the scientists who created it.
www.thefederation.org /documents/Dillingham-F03.htm   (4698 words)

 An authority on causation or causality
A definition of causation, or at least a clear knowledge of what causation means and is, is the root and the basis of one very important department of law, reference to which is made in every case that is tried in the Courts.
Welton, is change; and the first example of causation that he adduces is that the weight of the atmosphere is the cause of the height of the mercury in the barometer.
Antecedence often goes with causation, but there are many cases of causation in which the cause does not precede the effect; and there are many antecedents of a change that are not its causes; and to identify causation with antecedence is a gross blunder, whether the antecedence is invariable or not.
www.geocities.com /freasoner_2000/cause.htm   (16783 words)

 Compilation of MVI Headnotes - CAUSATION thru INDEPENDENT MEDICAL EXAM   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-13)
A proper resolution of the issue of causation rests primarily on a determination of factual questions which must be satisfactorily answered by the claimant.
- A claimant may be able to establish that he or she is entitled to reimbursement for health care benefits where causation is in questions after a significant gap in treatment if the factual evidence provides a satisfactorily convincing explanation as to why there was no treatment during the gap.
The cost of an "independent medical examination" is neither a no-fault benefit (nor is it "somewhat akin" to the payment of no-fault benefits by public assistance) and does not toll the statute of limitations.
www.hsba.org /hsba/Legal_Research/Hawaii/MVI/caus_depmed.cfm   (7817 words)

 Rosen - "Closed to Efficient Causation"
As we have seen, "closed to efficient causation" refers to the loop of entailment of efficient cause within a single living organism's functional organization.
So, attempts to purport to show that "closed to efficient causation" is false by use of gedanken experiments involving replacing organs, excising tissue, and other structural alterations which leave the organism alive, are misguided.
In the formulation in Life Itself, Rosen asserts that "closed to efficient causation" was both a necessary and a sufficient condition to call a system a living organism, as can be seen in the quote shown in the origin section, above.
www.panmere.com /rosen/closed_eff.htm   (1635 words)

 Downward Causation
Downward causation can be defined as a converse of the reductionist principle above: the behavior of the parts (down) is determined by the behavior of the whole (up), so determination moves downward instead of upward.
the whole is to some degree constrained by the parts (upward causation), but at the same time the parts are to some degree constrained by the whole (downward causation).
Campbell D.T. (1990): "Levels of Organization, Downward Causation, and the Selection-Theory Approach to Evolutionary Epistemology", in: Scientific Methodology in the Study of Mind: evolutionary epistemology, E. Tobach and G. Greenberg (ed.), (Erlbaum, Hillsdale, NJ), p.
pespmc1.vub.ac.be /DOWNCAUS.html   (921 words)

 causation - Hutchinson encyclopedia article about causation   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-13)
The third consideration is the degree to which we apprehend that endless chain of causation inevitably demanded by reason, in which each phenomenon comprehended, and therefore man's every action, must have its definite place as a result of what has gone before and as a cause of what will follow.
Up to that time they had been meaningless and without apparent causation.
We may then distinguish "vital" from mechanical movements by the fact that vital movements depend for their causation upon the special properties of the nervous system, while mechanical movements depend only upon the properties which animal bodies share with matter in general.
encyclopedia.farlex.com /causation   (347 words)

 Psyche 8(04): 'Problems of Mental Causation - Whether and How It Can Exist' by Ruediger Vaas
For him, causation applies only to events and it makes no sense to require a causal role for properties while critics point out that his properties are epiphenomenal.
According to Davidson (1991, 1995), causation is ultimately a relation based on fundamental physical laws (which we do not have yet, however, and possibly never will!) while mental events or properties are not in any strict lawful relation to physical ones and therefore anomalous.
For Kim, causation is a relation in which the cause produces the effect in an unequivocal manner, therefore his causal exclusion principle ("Don't multiply causes beyond necessity").
psyche.cs.monash.edu.au /v8/psyche-8-04-vaas.html   (13592 words)

 Correlation and Causation
First, let me give a short answer to the question "When does correlation imply causation?" The short answer is: When the data from which the correlation was computed were obtained by experimental means with appropriate care to avoid confounding and other threats to the internal validity of the experiment.
I test and reject the null hypothesis that phi is zero in the population (using chi-square as the test statistic).
I test and reject the null that this r is zero in the population (using t or F as the test statistic).
core.ecu.edu /psyc/wuenschk/StatHelp/Correlation-Causation.htm   (1833 words)

 Amazon.com: Books: Causation and Counterfactuals (Representation and Mind)   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-13)
One philosophical approach to causation sees counterfactual dependence as the key to the explanation of causal facts: for example, events c (the cause) and e (the effect) both occur, but had c not occurred, e would not have occurred either.
The counterfactual analysis of causation became a focus of philosophical debate after the 1973 publication of the late David Lewis's groundbreaking paper, "Causation," which argues against the previously accepted "regularity" analysis and in favor of what he called the "promising alternative" of the counterfactual analysis.
Several of the essays first appeared in a special issue of the Journal of Philosophy, but most, including the unabridged version of "Causation as Influence," are published for the first time or in updated forms.
www.amazon.com /exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0262532565?v=glance   (598 words)

 Fides Quaerens Intellectum: Chisholm on Agent Causation   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-13)
Sometimes the notion of agent causation is dismissed because it seems spooky and inexplicable to explain exactly what an agent is and exactly how an agent could cause some event to occur.
But we may plausibly say--and there is a respectable philosophical tradition to which we may appeal--that the notion of [agent] causation is in fact more clear than that of [event] causation, and that it is only by understanding our own causal efficacy, as agents, that we can grasp the concept of cause at all.
Second, Chisholm draws attention to the fact that it is implicit to rational understanding that we use agent causation.
blog.johndepoe.com /2005/06/chisholm-on-agent-causation.html   (450 words)

 SSRN-Comparative Causation by Francesco Parisi, Vincy Fon   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-13)
As Calabresi (1996) pointed out, no consideration has been given in recent legal and economic literature to the idea of distributing an accident loss among a faultless tortfeasor and an innocent victim on the basis of the relative causal contribution of the parties to the loss.
This criterion of apportionment of liability, which we call "comparative causation," is the object of this paper.
In order to identify structural features of the rule, we first consider a rule of pure comparative causation where liability is allocated on the basis of causation, regardless of parties' fault.
papers.ssrn.com /sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=293575   (299 words)

 New Poll Shows Correlation is Causation
NEW POLL SHOWS CORRELATION IS CAUSATION WASHINGTON (AP) The results of a new survey conducted by pollsters suggest that, contrary to common scientific wisdom, correlation does in fact imply causation.
Now that correlation implies causation, not only is everything easier to understand, it also shows that even Science must answer to the will of John and Jane Q. Public." Others are excited because this new, important result actually gives insight into why the result occurred in the first place.
Our steadfast and determined faith has guided us through thousands of years of trials and tribulations, and so we will weather this storm and survive, as we have survived before." Joining the theologists in their skepticism are the philosophers.
www.obereed.net /hh/correlation.html   (758 words)

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