Direct and Indirect Causes


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SPOHN, Wolfgang, 1990. Direct and Indirect Causes. In: Topoi. 9(2), pp. 125-145

@article{Spohn1990Direc-13633, title={Direct and Indirect Causes}, year={1990}, doi={10.1007/BF00135893}, number={2}, volume={9}, journal={Topoi}, pages={125--145}, author={Spohn, Wolfgang} }

<rdf:RDF xmlns:rdf="" xmlns:bibo="" xmlns:dc="" xmlns:dcterms="" xmlns:xsd="" > <rdf:Description rdf:about=""> <bibo:uri rdf:resource=""/> <dcterms:issued>1990</dcterms:issued> <dcterms:rights rdf:resource=""/> <dcterms:title>Direct and Indirect Causes</dcterms:title> <dcterms:available rdf:datatype="">2011-09-21T07:32:03Z</dcterms:available> <dc:rights>deposit-license</dc:rights> <dc:language>eng</dc:language> <dcterms:bibliographicCitation>First publ. in: Topoi ; 9 (1990), 2. - pp. 125-145</dcterms:bibliographicCitation> <dc:creator>Spohn, Wolfgang</dc:creator> <dc:date rdf:datatype="">2011-09-21T07:32:03Z</dc:date> <dc:contributor>Spohn, Wolfgang</dc:contributor> <dcterms:abstract xml:lang="eng">This paper presents my fullest account of probabilistic causation. It is based on the analysis of direct causation proposed in my paper “Deterministic and Probabilistic Reasons and Causes”. It examines the various notions of the circumstances of a given causal relation suggested by this analysis. It discusses three approaches to extend the analysis to indirect causation: the structural approach requiring transitivity of causation, the Markovian approach characterizing causal chains by the Markov property, and the positive relevance approach generalizing the idea that a cause is positively relevant to its effect given the obtaining circumstances from direct to indirect causation. The paper shows that the three approaches are mutually incompatible, an observation which might explain a lot of problems and confusions concerning probabilistic causation. It finally resolves the conflict by arguing that the structural approach assuming transitivity yields the most general theory of causation and by proving under which conditions causal chains conform to the other approaches, i.e. preserve the Markov property and positive relevance. As stated at the beginning of the paper, this probabilistic account can be routinely carried over to deterministic causation, something I more fully explained in my paper “Deterministic Causation”.</dcterms:abstract> </rdf:Description> </rdf:RDF>

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