Probabilistic causality: a rejoinder to Ellery Eells
University of Exeter. At the time of publication, the author was at Stanford University.
Philosophy of Science
University of Chicago Press
In an earlier paper (Dupré 1984), I criticized a thesis sometimes defended by theorists of probabilistic causality, namely, that a probabilistic cause must raise the probability of its effect in every possible set of causally relevant background conditions (the "contextual unanimity thesis"). I also suggested that a more promising analysis of probabilistic causality might be sought in terms of statis- tical relevance in a fair sample. Ellery Eells (1987) has defended the contextual unanimity thesis against my objections, and also raised objections of his own to my positive claims. In this paper I defend and amplify both my objections to the contextual unanimity thesis and my constructive suggestion.
© 1990 The Philosophy of Science Association