Flagpoles anyone? Causal and explanatory asymmetries

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Published 05-10-2020
James Woodward

Abstract

This paper discusses some procedures developed in recent work in machine learning for inferring causal direction from observational data. The role of independence and invariance assumptions is emphasized. Several familiar examples including Hempel’s flagpole problem are explored in the light of these ideas. The framework is then applied to problems having to do with explanatory direction in non-causal explanation.

How to Cite

Woodward, J. (2020). Flagpoles anyone? Causal and explanatory asymmetries. THEORIA, 37(1). https://doi.org/10.1387/theoria.21921
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Keywords

causal asymmetry, direction of causation, direction of explanation, invariance, independence, machine learning

Section
MONOGRAPHIC SECTION