Probabilistic Theories

Jon Williamson

in The Oxford Handbook of Causation

Published in print November 2009 | ISBN: 9780199279739
Published online January 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191577246 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Philosophy

Probabilistic Theories

More Like This

Show all results sharing these subjects:

  • Metaphysics
  • Philosophy of Science


Show Summary Details


Causal relationships are typically accompanied by probabilistic dependencies — normally when A causes B the former raises or lowers the probability of the latter. Probabilistic theories of causality usually try to characterize or analyse causality in terms of these probabilistic dependencies: they try to provide probabilistic criteria for deciding whether A causes B, and often maintain that causality just is the corresponding pattern of probabilistic relationships. This article provides an introduction to and criticism of such accounts. While it is argued that probabilistic theories are ultimately unsuccessful, work on probabilistic causality has shed a great deal of light on the relationship between causality and probability and hence these theories repay a thorough understanding.

Keywords: causal relationship; probabilistic theories; probabilistic dependencies; causality; probabilistic criteria; probabilistic causality

Article.  11506 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics ; Philosophy of Science

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.