The concept of cause is of extraordinary importance for the sci- ences. Scientists want to know the causes of phenomena because they want to be able to predict them, explain them, and gain con- trol over them via interventions. In the second half of the twentieth century many researchers who were influenced by logical positiv- ism, especially in the social sciences, tried to avoid the term ‘cause’ and its cognates. But much of their work always remained implicitly causal, and the concept experienced a philosophical revival towards the end of the century. Today causality is one of the most fertile areas of research in the philosophy of science, as the papers in this special section attest. They demonstrate that the philosophy of causality goes well be- yond the Humean questions, ‘What is causality?’ and ‘How can we know?’, and ranges across topics as varied as causal probabili- ties (Drouet), inferentialist semantics (Reiss), hierarchies among causal models (Hoover), the modal character of interventions (Reutlinger), the causal structure of mechanisms (Menzies), differ- ence-making and mechanistic evidence for causal claims (Claveau), and statistical norms in causal attributions (Sytsma et al.). These papers were first presented at the conference ‘Causality in the Biomedical and Social Sciences’, which was held in Rotter- dam in 2010 and is part of the Causality in the Sciences (CitS) conference series.

Causality in the Biomedical and Social Sciences

RUSSO, Federica
2012

Abstract

The concept of cause is of extraordinary importance for the sci- ences. Scientists want to know the causes of phenomena because they want to be able to predict them, explain them, and gain con- trol over them via interventions. In the second half of the twentieth century many researchers who were influenced by logical positiv- ism, especially in the social sciences, tried to avoid the term ‘cause’ and its cognates. But much of their work always remained implicitly causal, and the concept experienced a philosophical revival towards the end of the century. Today causality is one of the most fertile areas of research in the philosophy of science, as the papers in this special section attest. They demonstrate that the philosophy of causality goes well be- yond the Humean questions, ‘What is causality?’ and ‘How can we know?’, and ranges across topics as varied as causal probabili- ties (Drouet), inferentialist semantics (Reiss), hierarchies among causal models (Hoover), the modal character of interventions (Reutlinger), the causal structure of mechanisms (Menzies), differ- ence-making and mechanistic evidence for causal claims (Claveau), and statistical norms in causal attributions (Sytsma et al.). These papers were first presented at the conference ‘Causality in the Biomedical and Social Sciences’, which was held in Rotter- dam in 2010 and is part of the Causality in the Sciences (CitS) conference series.
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11392/1873553
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