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Look Inside Time and Causality across the Sciences

Time and Causality across the Sciences


Samantha Kleinberg, Bert Leuridan, Thomas Lodewyck, Phil Dowe, Victor Gijsbers, Jenann Ismael, Neil R. Bramely, Yin Chung Au, Inge de Bal, Erik Weber, Jonathan Livengood, Karen R. Zwier, Naftali Weinberger, David Jensen
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  • Publication planned for: September 2019
  • availability: Not yet published - available from September 2019
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781108476676

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About the Authors
  • This book, geared toward academic researchers and graduate students, brings together research on all facets of how time and causality relate across the sciences. Time is fundamental to how we perceive and reason about causes. It lets us immediately rule out the sound of a car crash as its cause. That a cause happens before its effect has been a core, and often unquestioned, part of how we describe causality. Research across disciplines shows that the relationship is much more complex than that. This book explores what that means for both the metaphysics and epistemology of causes - what they are and how we can find them. Across psychology, biology, and the social sciences, common themes emerge, suggesting that time plays a critical role in our understanding. The increasing availability of large time series datasets allows us to ask new questions about causality, necessitating new methods for modeling dynamic systems and incorporating mechanistic information into causal models.

    • Written for a broad audience, gathering the research currently scattered across many domain-specific journals and providing the needed background for readers outside the immediate field
    • Provides a comprehensive introduction to how prominent theories of causality address time, with topics ranging from metaphysics to algorithms for inferring causes
    • The book is self-contained and requires no prior background in causality
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Understanding the causal relations that make the world go round would be so much easier if mechanisms didn't operate over time, or at least if they operated at a single time scale. But mechanisms do unfold over multiple time scales, making not only inferences about causality tricky, but the very definition of causality the most slippery of conceptual issues. This book unpacks all this at the cutting edge of philosophy and science. It even addresses what may be the heart of the problem: how people understand causality and its counterpart, time.' Steven Sloman, Brown University, Rhode Island

    'A very useful collection on a fascinating topic. The connection between time and causation seems as obvious in science as in everyday life, yet turns out to be deeply puzzling, as soon as we dig below the surface. The essays collected here offer an excellent and accessible introduction to the issues, from an impressively interdisciplinary range of perspectives.' Huw Price, University of Cambridge

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    Product details

    • Publication planned for: September 2019
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781108476676
    • length: 270 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 157 x 20 mm
    • weight: 0.51kg
    • contains: 30 b/w illus.
    • availability: Not yet published - available from September 2019
  • Table of Contents

    1. An introduction to time and causality Samantha Kleinberg
    2. Causality and time: an introductory typology Bert Leuridan and Thomas Lodewyck
    3. The direction of causation Phil Dowe
    4. On the causal nature of time Victor Gijsbers
    5. Causation in a physical world: an overview of our emerging understanding Jenann Ismael
    6. Intervening in time Neil R. Bramely
    7. Time-event relationships as representations for constructing cell mechanisms Yin Chung Au
    8. Causation, time asymmetry, and causal mechanisms in the social sciences Inge de Bal and Erik Weber
    9. Temporalization in causal modeling Jonathan Livengood and Karen R. Zwier
    10. Reintroducing dynamics into static causal models Naftali Weinberger
    11. Overcoming the poverty of mechanisms in causal models David Jensen.

  • Editor

    Samantha Kleinberg, Stevens Institute of Technology, New Jersey
    Samantha Kleinberg is an Associate Professor of computer science at Stevens Institute of Technology, New Jersey. She received her Ph.D. in computer science from New York University, and previously held an NSF/CRA Computing Innovation Fellowship at Columbia University. She is the recipient of NSF CAREER and JSMF Complex Systems Scholar Awards and is a Kavli Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences. She is the author of Causality, Probability and Time (Cambridge, 2012) and Why: A Guide to Finding and Using Causes (2015).


    Samantha Kleinberg, Bert Leuridan, Thomas Lodewyck, Phil Dowe, Victor Gijsbers, Jenann Ismael, Neil R. Bramely, Yin Chung Au, Inge de Bal, Erik Weber, Jonathan Livengood, Karen R. Zwier, Naftali Weinberger, David Jensen

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