Causal Laws and Effective Strategies

Nancy Cartwright

in How the Laws of Physics Lie

Published in print June 1983 | ISBN: 9780198247043
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191597152 | DOI:
 Causal Laws and Effective Strategies

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Argues for the irreducibility of causal laws to laws of association, probabilistic or deterministic. Statistical or probabilistic analyses of causality, which typically require that the cause increase or alter the probability of the effect, cannot succeed because causes increase the probability of their effects only in situations that exhibit causal homogeneity with respect to that effect (Simpson's paradox). This condition must enter the definition of an effective strategy, which is why causal laws are ineliminable for scientifically grounded interventions in nature.

Keywords: causal laws; causal homogeneity; effective strategy; laws of association; probabilistic causality; Simpson's paradox

Chapter.  8540 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Philosophy of Science

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