Chapter

Counterfactuals and causal structure

Kevin D. Hoover

in Causality in the Sciences

Published in print March 2011 | ISBN: 9780199574131
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191728921 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199574131.003.0016
Counterfactuals and causal structure

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The structural account of causation derives inter alia from Herbert Simon's work on causal order and was developed in Hoover's Causality in Macroeconomics and earlier articles. The structural account easily connects to, enriches, and illuminates graphical or Bayes net approaches to causal representation and is able to handle modular, nonmodular, linear, and nonlinear causal systems. The representation is used to illuminate the mutual relationship between causal structure and counterfactuals, particularly addressing the role of counterfactuals in Woodward's manipulationist account of causation and Cartwright's attack on ‘impostor counterfactuals’.

Keywords: causation; causal order; causal structure; counterfactuals; James Woodward; Nancy Cartwright; invariance; structural account; manipulability account; causal pluralism; independence; modularity

Chapter.  10141 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Logic

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