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Learning Causal Relationships

By Jon Williamson

Abstract

How ought we learn causal relationships? While Popper advocated a hypothetico-deductive logic of causal discovery, inductive accounts are currently in vogue. Many inductive approaches depend on the causal Markov condition as a fundamental assumption. This condition, I maintain, is not universally valid, though it is justifiable as a default assumption. In which case the results of the inductive causal learning procedure must be tested before they can be accepted. This yields a synthesis of the hypothetico-deductive and inductive accounts, which forms the focus of this paper. I discuss the justification of this synthesis and draw an analogy between objective Bayesianism and the account of causal learning presented here

Topics: B1
Publisher: LSE Centre for Philosophy of Natural and Social Science
Year: 2002
OAI identifier: oai:kar.kent.ac.uk:7365
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