•  5
    Kriterion - Journal of Philosophy 35 (1): 1-4. 2021.
  •  40
    Psychological studies show that the beliefs of two agents in a hypothesis can diverge even if both agents receive the same evidence. This phenomenon of belief polarisation is often explained by invoking biased assimilation of evidence, where the agents’ prior views about the hypothesis affect the way they process the evidence. We suggest, using a Bayesian model, that even if such influence is excluded, belief polarisation can still arise by another mechanism. This alternative mechanism involves …Read more
  •  39
    Goldman (1967) proposed that a subject s knows p if and only if p is appropriately causally connected to s’s believing p. He later on abandoned this theory (Goldman, 1976). The main objection to the theory is that the causal connection required by Goldman is compatible with certain problematic forms of luck. In this paper we argue that Goldman’s causal theory of knowledge can overcome the luck problem if causation is understood along interventionist lines. We also show that the modified theory l…Read more
  •  25
    Inductive metaphysics: Editors' introduction
    Grazer Philosophische Studien 98 (1): 1-26. 2021.
    This introduction consists of two parts. In the first part, the special issue editors introduce inductive metaphysics from a historical as well as from a systematic point of view and discuss what distinguishes it from other modern approaches to metaphysics. In the second part, they give a brief summary of the individual articles in this special issue.
  •  37
    Quantifying proportionality and the limits of higher-level causation and explanation
    with Markus Ilkka Eronen
    British Journal for the Philosophy of Science. 2021.
    Supporters of the autonomy of higher-level causation (or explanation) often appeal to proportionality, arguing that higher-level causes are more proportional than their lower-level realizers. Recently, measures based on information theory and causal modeling have been proposed that allow one to shed new light on proportionality and the related notion of specificity. In this paper we apply ideas from this literature to the issue of higher vs. lower-level causation (and explanation). Surprisingly,…Read more
  •  35
    Free will as a higher‐level phenomenon?
    Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 9 (3): 177-187. 2020.
    List (2014, 2019) has recently argued for a particular view of free will as a higher-level phenomenon compatible with determinism. According to List, one could refute his account by showing that determinism at the physical level implies the impossibility of doing otherwise at the agential level. This paper takes up that challenge. Based on assumptions to which List’s approach is committed, I provide a simple probabilistic model that establishes the connection between physical determinism and the…Read more
  •  54
    Strong notions of free will are closely connected to the possibility to do otherwise as well as to an agent's ability to causally influence her environment via her decisions controlling her actions. In this paper we employ techniques from the causal modeling literature to investigate whether a notion of free will subscribing to one or both of these requirements is compatible with naturalistic views of the world such as non-reductive physicalism to the background of determinism and indeterminism.…Read more
  •  43
    Cartwright (Synthese 121(1/2):3–27, 1999a; The dappled world, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1999b) attacked the view that causal relations conform to the Markov condition by providing a counterexample in which a common cause does not screen off its effects: the prominent chemical factory. In this paper we suggest a new way to handle counterexamples to Markov causation such as the chemical factory. We argue that Cartwright’s as well as similar scenarios feature a certain kind of non-caus…Read more
  •  44
    Modeling creative abduction Bayesian style
    European Journal for Philosophy of Science 9 (1): 1-15. 2019.
    Schurz proposed a justification of creative abduction on the basis of the Reichenbachian principle of the common cause. In this paper we take up the idea of combining creative abduction with causal principles and model instances of successful creative abduction within a Bayes net framework. We identify necessary conditions for such inferences and investigate their unificatory power. We also sketch several interesting applications of modeling creative abduction Bayesian style. In particular, we d…Read more
  •  57
    A causal Bayes net analysis of dispositions
    Synthese (5): 4873-4895. 2019.
    In this paper we develop an analysis of dispositions by means of causal Bayes nets. In particular, we analyze dispositions as cause-effect structures that increase the probability of the manifestation when the stimulus is brought about by intervention in certain circumstances. We then highlight several advantages of our analysis and how it can handle problems arising for classical analyses of dispositions such as masks, mimickers, and finks.
  •  52
    One of Stuart Glennan's most prominent contributions to the new mechanist debate consists in his reductive analysis of higher-level causation in terms of mechanisms (Glennan, 1996). In this paper I employ the causal Bayes net framework to reconstruct his analysis. This allows for specifying general assumptions which have to be satis ed to get Glennan's approach working. I show that once these assumptions are in place, they imply (against the background of the causal Bayes net machinery) that hig…Read more
  •  52
    Confirmation based on analogical inference: Bayes meets Jeffrey
    Canadian Journal of Philosophy 50 (2): 174-194. 2020.
    Certain hypotheses cannot be directly confirmed for theoretical, practical, or moral reasons. For some of these hypotheses, however, there might be a workaround: confirmation based on analogical reasoning. In this paper we take up Dardashti, Hartmann, Thébault, and Winsberg’s (in press) idea of analyzing confirmation based on analogical inference Baysian style. We identify three types of confirmation by analogy and show that Dardashti et al.’s approach can cover two of them. We then highlight po…Read more
  •  46
    Establishing backward causation on empirical grounds: An interventionist approach
    with Dennis Graemer and Frenzis H. Scheffels
    Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 8 (2): 129-138. 2019.
    We propose an analysis of backward causation in terms of interventionism that can avoid several problems typically associated with backward causation. Its main advantage over other accounts is that it allows for reducing the problematic task of supporting backward causal claims to the unproblematic task of finding evidence for several ordinary forward directed causal hypotheses.
  •  8
    The Second International Conference of the German Society for Philosophy of Science , 8–11 March 2016
    Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 48 (2): 289-291. 2017.
  •  53
    Combining causal Bayes nets and cellular automata: A hybrid modelling approach to mechanisms
    with Daniel Koch
    British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 72 (3): 839-864. 2021.
    Causal Bayes nets (CBNs) can be used to model causal relationships up to whole mechanisms. Though modelling mechanisms with CBNs comes with many advantages, CBNs might fail to adequately represent some biological mechanisms because—as Kaiser (2016) pointed out—they have problems with capturing relevant spatial and structural information. In this paper we propose a hybrid approach for modelling mechanisms that combines CBNs and cellular automata. Our approach can incorporate spatial and structura…Read more
  •  73
    Editors' Introduction
    Theoria : An International Journal for Theory, History and Fundations of Science 29 (1): 5-7. 2014.
    Editors’ introduction to the monographic section _Explanation, Causality, and Unification_.
  •  77
    Hitchcock demonstrated that the validity of causal exclusion arguments as well as the plausibility of several of their premises hinges on the specific theory of causation endorsed. In this paper I show that the validity of causal exclusion arguments—if represented within the theory of causal Bayes nets the way Gebharter suggests—actually requires much weaker premises than the ones which are typically assumed. In particular, neither completeness of the physical domain nor the no overdetermination…Read more
  •  37
    Philosophy of Science Between the Natural Sciences, the Social Sciences, and the Humanities: Introduction
    with Christian J. Feldbacher-Escamilla and Gerhard Schurz
    Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 48 (3): 317-326. 2017.
    This introduction provides a detailed summary of all papers of the special issue on the second conference of the German Society for Philosophy of Science: GWP.2016.
  •  20
    A causal Bayesian network model of disease progression mechanisms in chronic myeloid leukemia
    with Daniel Koch and Robert Eisinger
    Journal of Theoretical Biology 433 94-105. 2017.
    Chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) is a cancer of the hematopoietic system initiated by a single genetic mutation which results in the oncogenic fusion protein Bcr-Abl. Untreated, patients pass through different phases of the disease beginning with the rather asymptomatic chronic phase and ultimately culminating into blast crisis, an acute leukemia resembling phase with a very high mortality. Although many processes underlying the chronic phase are well understood, the exact mechanisms of disease pr…Read more
  •  36
    Disjunctivism: An Answer to Two Pseudo Problems?
    with Alexander Mirnig
    Conceptus: Zeitschrift Fur Philosophie 39 (95): 61-84. 2010.
    Ever since it was discovered that hallucinations and illusions are not all that compatible with our natural view of the relation between the perceiving subject and the perceived object, according to which we always perceive the object itself (or, as most epistemologists prefer to say, we perceive it directly), the philosophical position of Direct (or Naïve) Realism which is meant to be the epistemological equivalent of this view, has begun to falter. To express these problems more explicitly, th…Read more
  •  202
    Constitutive Relevance, Mutual Manipulability, and Fat-Handedness
    British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 67 (3): 731-756. 2016.
    The first part of this paper argues that if Craver’s ([2007a], [2007b]) popular mutual manipulability account (MM) of mechanistic constitution is embedded within Woodward’s ([2003]) interventionist theory of causation--for which it is explicitly designed--it either undermines the mechanistic research paradigm by entailing that there do not exist relationships of constitutive relevance or it gives rise to the unwanted consequence that constitution is a form of causation. The second part shows how…Read more
  •  45
    A modeling approach for mechanisms featuring causal cycles
    Philosophy of Science 83 (5): 934-945. 2016.
    Mechanisms play an important role in many sciences when it comes to questions concerning explanation, prediction, and control. Answering such questions in a quantitative way requires a formal represention of mechanisms. Gebharter (2014) suggests to represent mechanisms by means of one or more causal arrows of an acyclic causal net. In this paper we show how this approach can be extended in such a way that it can also be fruitfully applied to mechanisms featuring causal feedback.
  •  61
    Philosophy of Science in Germany, 1992–2012: Survey-Based Overview and Quantitative Analysis
    with Matthias Unterhuber and Gerhard Schurz
    Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 45 (1): 71-160. 2014.
    An overview of the German philosophy of science community is given for the years 1992–2012, based on a survey in which 159 philosophers of science in Germany participated. To this end, the institutional background of the German philosophy of science community is examined in terms of journals, centers, and associations. Furthermore, a qualitative description and a quantitative analysis of our survey results are presented. Quantitative estimates are given for: (a) academic positions, (b) research …Read more
  •  311
    From a Mereotopological Point of View
    with Alexander Mirnig
    Kriterion - Journal of Philosophy 23 (1): 78-90. 2010.
    In his Critique of Pure Reason Immanuel Kant presents four antinomies. In his attempt to solve the first of these antinomies he examines and analyzes "thesis" and "antithesis" more thoroughly and employs the terms `part', `whole' and `boundary' in his argumentation for their validity. According to Kant, the whole problem surrounding the antinomy was caused by applying the concept of the world to nature and then using both terms interchangeably. While interesting, this solution is still not that …Read more
  •  65
    Uncovering constitutive relevance relations in mechanisms
    Philosophical Studies 174 (11): 2645-2666. 2017.
    In this paper I argue that constitutive relevance relations in mechanisms behave like a special kind of causal relation in at least one important respect: Under suitable circumstances constitutive relevance relations produce the Markov factorization. Based on this observation one may wonder whether standard methods for causal discovery could be fruitfully applied to uncover constitutive relevance relations. This paper is intended as a first step into this new area of philosophical research. I in…Read more
  •  63
    Another problem with RBN models of mechanisms
    Theoria: Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia 31 (2): 177-188. 2016.
    Casini, Illari, Russo, and Williamson (2011) suggest to model mechanisms by means of recursive Bayesian networks (RBNs) and Clarke, Leuridan, and Williamson (2014) extend their modelling approach to mechanisms featuring causal feedback. One of the main selling points of the RBN approach should be that it provides answers to questions concerning manipulation and control. In this paper I demonstrate that the method to compute the effects of interventions the authors mentioned endorse leads to absu…Read more