Hostname: page-component-848d4c4894-5nwft Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-05-23T10:01:13.507Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

The Similarity of Causal Structure

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 January 2022

Abstract

Whether y obtains under the counterfactual supposition that x is thought to depend on whether y obtains in the most similar world(s) in which x obtains. Graphical causal models have proved useful in developing a principled notion of similarity between worlds, but this notion is limited insofar as it does not apply to counterfactual suppositions about causal structure. Here, we explore the possibility of filling this lacuna by introducing a notion of similarity between causal graphs. Since there are multiple principled senses in which graphs can be similar, we introduce multiple similarity metrics and multiple ways to prioritize these metrics.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © The Philosophy of Science Association

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Footnotes

*

To contact the authors, please write to: Benjamin Eva, University of Konstanz, 78464 Konstanz, Germany; e-mail: benjamin.eva@uni-konstanz.de. Reuben Stern, Kansas State University, 1116 Mid Campus Dr. North, 201 Dickens Hall, Manhattan, KS 66506; e-mail: reuben.stern@gmail.com. Stephan Hartmann, Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, 80539 Munich, Germany; e-mail: s.hartmann@lmu.de.

References

Ali, N., Chater, N., and Oaksford, M.. 2011. “The Mental Representation of Causal Conditional Reasoning: Mental Models or Causal Models.” Cognition 119 (3): 403–18..CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Bradley, R., Dietrich, F., and List, C.. 2014. “Aggregating Causal Judgements.” Philosophy of Science 81 (4): 491515..CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Briggs, R. 2012. “Interventionist Counterfactuals.” Philosophical Studies 160:139–66.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Forster, M., Raskutti, G., Stern, R., and Weinberger, N.. 2018. “The Frugal Inference of Causal Relations.” British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 69 (3): 821–48..CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Garant, D., and Jensen, J.. 2016. “Evaluating Causal Models by Comparing Interventional Distributions.” arXive.org, Cornell University. https://arxiv.org/abs/1608.04698.Google Scholar
Halpern, J. 2016. Actual Causality. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hausman, D. 1998. Causal Asymmetries. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lagnado, D., and Sloman, S. A.. 2002. “Learning Causal Structure.” In Proceedings of the Twenty-Fourth Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, ed. Gray, W. and Schunn, C., 560–65. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
Lewis, D. 1973. Counterfactuals. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Repr., London: Blackwell, 2001.Google Scholar
Lewis, D.. 1979. “Counterfactual Dependence and Time’s Arrow.” Noûs 13:455–76.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Pearl, J. 2009. Causality: Models, Reasoning and Inference. 2nd ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Spirtes, P., Glymour, C., and Scheines, R.. 2000. Causation, Prediction and Search. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
Stalnaker, R. 1968. “A Theory of Conditionals.” In Studies in Logical Theory, ed. Cornman, James W., 98112. American Philosophical Quarterly 2. Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
Woodward, J. 2005. Making Things Happen: A Theory of Causal Explanation. Oxford Studies in the Philosophy of Science. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar