Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

Time series, nonsense correlations and the principle of the common cause

By Julian Reiss


This paper examines some recent defences of the principle of the common cause (PCC) against Elliott Sober’s famous counterexample. There are two lines of attack: attempts to defuse the counterexample, that is, to show that the scenario described by Sober only apparently conflicts with the PCC; and attempts to demonstrate that the counterexample has no practical consequences. I show in this paper that there are problems with both strategies. In response, I formulate an alternative version of the principle that avoids the known counterexamples and that makes its status as fallible epistemic principle explicit

Topics: H Social Sciences (General), Q Science (General)
Publisher: College Publications
Year: 2007
OAI identifier:
Provided by: LSE Research Online
Download PDF:
Sorry, we are unable to provide the full text but you may find it at the following location(s):
  • http://www.collegepublications... (external link)
  • (external link)
  • Suggested articles

    To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.