Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States of America
  •  296
    Determinism, ignorance, and quantum mechanics
    Journal of Philosophy 68 (21): 744-751. 1971.
    is every bit as intelligible and philosophically respectable as many other doctrines currently in favor, e.g., the doctrine that mental events are identical with brain events; the attempt to give a linguistic construal of this latter doctrine meets many of the same sorts of difficulties encountered above (see Hempel, op. cit.). Secondly, I think that evidence for universal determinism may not, as a matter of fact, be so hard to come by as one might imagine. It is a striking fact about our world …Read more
  •  264
    Conditioning and intervening
    with Christopher Meek
    British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 45 (4): 1001-1021. 1994.
    We consider the dispute between causal decision theorists and evidential decision theorists over Newcomb-like problems. We introduce a framework relating causation and directed graphs developed by Spirtes et al. (1993) and evaluate several arguments in this context. We argue that much of the debate between the two camps is misplaced; the disputes turn on the distinction between conditioning on an event E as against conditioning on an event I which is an action to bring about E. We give the essen…Read more
  •  256
    3 Actual Causes and Thought Experiments
    with Frank Wimberly
    In J. K. Campbell, M. O'Rourke & H. S. Silverstein (eds.), Causation and Explanation, Mit Press. pp. 4--43. 2007.
  •  250
    Rabbit hunting
    Synthese 121 (1-2): 55-78. 1999.
    Twenty years ago, Nancy Cartwright wrote a perceptive essay in which she clearly distinguished causal relations from associations, introduced philosophers to Simpson’s paradox, articulated the difficulties for reductive probabilistic analyses of causation that flow from these observations, and connected causal relations with strategies of action (Cartwright 1979). Five years later, without appreciating her essay, I and my (then) students began to develop formal representations of causal and probab…Read more
  •  221
    Words, Thoughts and Theories arguesthat infants and children discover the physical and psychological featuresof the world by a process akin to scientific inquiry, more or less asconceived by philosophers of science in the 1960s (the theory theory).This essay discusses some of the philosophical background to analternative, more popular, ``modular'''' or ``maturational'''' account ofdevelopment, dismisses an array of philosophical objections to the theorytheory, suggests that the theory theory off…Read more
  •  214
    James Woodward, Making Things Happen: A Theory of Causal Explanation, Oxford, 2003, 418pp, $65.00 ISBN 0195155270 (review)
    British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 55 (4): 779-790. 2004.
    "Goodness of Fit": Clinical Applications from Infancy through Adult Life. By Stella Chess & Alexander Thomas. Brunner/Mazel, Philadelphia, PA, 1999. pp. 229. pound24.95 (hb). Chess and Thomas's pioneering longitudinal studies of temperamental individuality started over 40 years ago (Thomas et al., 1963). Their publications soon became and remain classics. Their concept of "goodness of fit" emerges out of this monumental work but has had a long gestation period. In their new book, the authors dis…Read more
  •  211
    Learning causes: Psychological explanations of causal explanation (review)
    Minds and Machines 8 (1): 39-60. 1998.
    I argue that psychologists interested in human causal judgment should understand and adopt a representation of causal mechanisms by directed graphs that encode conditional independence (screening off) relations. I illustrate the benefits of that representation, now widely used in computer science and increasingly in statistics, by (i) showing that a dispute in psychology between ‘mechanist’ and ‘associationist’ psychological theories of causation rests on a false and confused dichotomy; (ii) sho…Read more
  •  207
    A semantics and methodology for ceteris paribus hypotheses
    Erkenntnis 57 (3): 395-405. 2002.
    Taking seriously the arguments of Earman, Roberts and Smith that ceteris paribus laws have no semantics and cannot be tested, I suggest that ceteris paribus claims have a kind of formal pragmatics, and that at least some of them can be verified or refuted in the limit.
  •  198
    Reply to Humphreys and Freedman's review of causation, prediction, and search
    with Peter Spirtes and Richard Scheines
    British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 48 (4): 555-568. 1997.
  •  190
    Instrumental Probability
    The Monist 84 (2): 284-300. 2001.
    The claims of science and the claims of probability combine in two ways. In one, probability is part of the content of science, as in statistical mechanics and quantum theory and an enormous range of "models" developed in applied statistics. In the other, probability is the tool used to explain and to justify methods of inference from records of observations, as in every science from psychiatry to physics. These intimacies between science and probability are logical sports, for while we think sc…Read more
  •  185
    Correction
    Journal of Philosophy 78 (1). 1981.
  •  169
    The sum rule is well-confirmed
    Philosophy of Science 44 (1): 86-94. 1977.
  •  166
    Learning, prediction and causal Bayes nets
    Trends in Cognitive Sciences 7 (1): 43-48. 2003.
  •  161
    Convergence to the truth and nothing but the truth
    Philosophy of Science 56 (2): 185-220. 1989.
    One construal of convergent realism is that for each clear question, scientific inquiry eventually answers it. In this paper we adapt the techniques of formal learning theory to determine in a precise manner the circumstances under which this ideal is achievable. In particular, we define two criteria of convergence to the truth on the basis of evidence. The first, which we call EA convergence, demands that the theorist converge to the complete truth "all at once". The second, which we call AE co…Read more
  •  153
    The gravitational red shift as a test of general relativity: History and analysis
    Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 11 (3): 175-214. 1980.
  •  148
    We argue that current discussions of criteria for actual causation are ill-posed in several respects. (1) The methodology of current discussions is by induction from intuitions about an infinitesimal fraction of the possible examples and counterexamples; (2) cases with larger numbers of causes generate novel puzzles; (3) "neuron" and causal Bayes net diagrams are, as deployed in discussions of actual causation, almost always ambiguous; (4) actual causation is (intuitively) relative to an initial…Read more
  •  140
    Reasons as Causes in Bayesian Epistemology
    Journal of Philosophy 104 (9): 464-474. 2007.
    In everyday matters, as well as in law, we allow that someone’s reasons can be causes of her actions, and often are. That correct reasoning accords with Bayesian principles is now so widely held in philosophy, psychology, computer science and elsewhere that the contrary is beginning to seem obtuse, or at best quaint. And that rational agents should learn about the world from energies striking sensory inputs nerves in people—seems beyond question. Even rats seem to recognize the difference betwee…Read more
  •  136
    Few people have thought so hard about the nature of the quantum theory as has Jeff Bub,· and so it seems appropriate to offer in his honor some reflections on that theory. My topic is an old one, the consistency of our microscopic theories with our macroscopic theories, my example, the Aspect experiments (Aspect et al., 1981, 1982, 1982a; Clauser and Shimony, l978;_Duncan and Kleinpoppen, 199,8) is familiar, and my sirnplrcation of it is borrowed. All that is new here is a kind of diagonalizatio…Read more
  •  130
    The epistemology of geometry
    Noûs 11 (3): 227-251. 1977.
    Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of J STOR’s Terms and Conditions of Use, available at http://www.jstor.org/about/terms.html. J STOR’s Terms and Conditions of Use provides, in part, that unless you have obtained prior permission, you may not download an entire issue of a journal or multiple copies of articles, and you may use content in the JSTOR archive only for your personal, non—commercial use.
  •  123
    Relevant evidence
    Journal of Philosophy 72 (14): 403-426. 1975.
    S CIENTISTS often claim that an experiment or observation tests certain hypotheses within a complex theory but not others. Relativity theorists, for example, are unanimous in the judgment that measurements of the gravitational red shift do not test the field equations of general relativity; psychoanalysts sometimes complain that experimental tests of Freudian theory are at best tests of rather peripheral hypotheses; astronomers do not regard observations of the positions of a single planet as a …Read more
  •  113
    Buy and use thinking things through
    Minds and Machines 8 (2): 309-310. 1998.
    Department of Philosophy, University of California at San Diego, La Jolla, Ca 92093, U.S.A., and Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford, CA, U.S.A. E-mail: cg09+@andrew.cmu.edu.
  •  111
    On the methods of cognitive neuropsychology
    British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 45 (3): 815-35. 1994.
    Contemporary cognitive neuropsychology attempts to infer unobserved features of normal human cognition, or ?cognitive architecture?, from experiments with normals and with brain-damaged subjects in whom certain normal cognitive capacities are altered, diminished, or absent. Fundamental methodological issues about the enterprise of cognitive neuropsychology concern the characterization of methods by which features of normal cognitive architecture can be identified from such data, the assumptions …Read more
  •  106
    & Carnegie Mellon University Abstract The rationality of human causal judgments has been the focus of a great deal of recent research. We argue against two major trends in this research, and for a quite different way of thinking about causal mechanisms and probabilistic data. Our position rejects a false dichotomy between "mechanistic" and "probabilistic" analyses of causal inference -- a dichotomy that both overlooks the nature of the evidence that supports the induction of mechanisms and misse…Read more
  •  105
    What is right with 'bayes net methods' and what is wrong with 'hunting causes and using them'?
    British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 61 (1): 161-211. 2010.
    Nancy Cartwright's recent criticisms of efforts and methods to obtain causal information from sample data using automated search are considered. In addition to reviewing that effort, I argue that almost all of her criticisms are false and rest on misreading, overgeneralization, or neglect of the relevant literature
  •  103
  •  103
    Reverse Inference in Neuropsychology
    with Catherine Hanson
    British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 67 (4): 1139-1153. 2016.
    Reverse inference in cognitive neuropsychology has been characterized as inference to ‘psychological processes’ from ‘patterns of activation’ revealed by functional magnetic resonance or other scanning techniques. Several arguments have been provided against the possibility. Focusing on Machery’s presentation, we attempt to clarify the issues, rebut the impossibility arguments, and propose and illustrate a strategy for reverse inference. 1 The Problem of Reverse Inference in Cognitive Neuropsych…Read more
  •  103
    The Bell Curve aims to establish a set of causal claims. I argue that the methodology of The Bell Curve is typical of much of contemporary social science and is intrinsically defective. I claim better methods are available for causal inference from observational data, but that those methods would yield no causal conclusions from the data used in the formal analyses in The Bell Curve. Against the laissez-faire social policies advocated in the book, I claim that when combined with common sense and…Read more
  •  98
    Probability and the Explanatory Virtues: Figure 1
    British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 66 (3): 591-604. 2015.
    Recent literature in philosophy of science has addressed purported notions of explanatory virtues—‘explanatory power’, ‘unification’, and ‘coherence’. In each case, a probabilistic relation between a theory and data is said to measure the power of an explanation, or degree of unification, or degree of coherence. This essay argues that the measures do not capture cases that are paradigms of scientific explanation, that the available psychological evidence indicates that the measures do not captur…Read more