Journal Article

Black Box Inference: When Should Intervening Variables Be Postulated?

Elliott Sober

in The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science

Published on behalf of British Society for the Philosophy of Science

Volume 49, issue 3, pages 469-498
Published in print September 1998 | ISSN: 0007-0882
Published online September 1998 | e-ISSN: 1464-3537 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bjps/49.3.469
Black Box Inference: When Should Intervening Variables Be Postulated?

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An empirical procedure is suggested for testing a model that postulates variables that intervene between observed causes and abserved effects against a model that includes no such postulate. The procedure is applied to two experiments in psychology. One involves a conditioning regimen that leads to response generalization; the other concerns the question of whether chimpanzees have a theory of mind.

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Subjects: Philosophy of Science ; Science and Mathematics

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