Dr. Sam Fletcher (Universität Minnesota): Causal Modeling as Counterfactual Semantics

Datum / Uhrzeit:
09.06.20   /  18:30 - 20:15

Institut für Theoretische Philosophie



I sketch how to reduce the plurality of causal notions definable with causal models, e.g., type and token, interventionist and counterfactual, etc., to certain types of counterfactual conditions. In particular, I show how interventions and the semantics for interventionist counterfactual conditionals—the main concepts used to define of causal concept with causal models—can be understood in terms of a variation on the Stalnaker-Lewis semantics for counterfactual conditionals, adapted for application in science.


Samuel C. Fletcher is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, a Resident Fellow of the Minnesota Center for Philosophy of Science, and an External Member of the Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität. His research concerns the foundations of physics and of statistics, and how problems in these fields inform and are informed by broader issues in the philosophy of science. He also has interests in the conceptual and physical basis of computation, metaphilosophy, and the history of physics and philosophy of science.

Relevant References:

Lewis, David K., 1973, Counterfactuals, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Pearl, Judea, 2009, Causality: Models, Reasoning, and Inference, Second Edition, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Stalnaker, Robert C., 1968, “A Theory of Conditionals”, in Studies in Logical Theory, Nicholas Rescher (ed.), Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 98–112.

Woodward, James, 2003, Making Things Happen: A Theory of Causal Explanation, Oxford: Oxford University Press.


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