A Model-Invariant Theory of Singular Causation

Abstract

Most contemporary theories of singular causation (sometimes called 'token causation', or 'actual causation') make use of a framework of structural equations modelling, or causal modelling. The majority of these theories are doubly counterfactual---they say that causation is not counterfactual dependence simpliciter, but rather counterfactual dependence in some counterfactual model. Such theories are model-variant in the following sense: they will say that C caused E in some correct model, but then, when an inessential variable is removed from this model, they will change their mind and say that C did not cause E. I present and motivate a novel theory of causation, formulated within the framework of causal models, which lacks this defect. If this theory says that C caused E in one correct model, then it will continue to say that C caused E after any inessential variables have been removed; and, if this theory says that C didn't cause E, then it will continue to say that C didn't cause E after any inessential variables have been removed.

Cite
Causal & Explanatory Reasoning, Venice International University, November 13–17, 2017
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