The Statistical Nature of Causation (David Papineau)

The Logic and Metaphysics Workshop will meet on March 16th from 4:15-6:15 in room 7395 of the CUNY Graduate Center for a talk by David Papineau (CUNY).

Following guidance from CUNY concerning the coronavirus, this event has been cancelled.

Title: The Statistical Nature of Causation

Abstract: For over a hundred years econometricians, epidemiologists, educational sociologists and other non-experimental scientists have used asymmetric correlational patterns to infer directed causal structures. It is odd, to say the least, that no philosophical theories of causation cast any light on why these techniques work. Why do the directed causal structures line up with the asymmetric correlational patterns? Judea Pearl says that the correspondence is a “gift from the gods”. Metaphysics owes us a better answer. I shall attempt to sketch the outline of one.

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