Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Causality: Modeling and Inference

Causality: Models, Reasoning, and Inference

Judea Pearl
Cambridge University Press, 13-Mar-2000 - Philosophy - 384 pages

This book provides a comprehensive exposition of modern analysis of causation. It shows how causality has grown from a nebulous concept into a mathematical theory with significant applications in the fields of statistics, artificial intelligence, philosophy, cognitive science, and the health and social sciences. Pearl presents a unified account of the probabilistic, manipulative, counterfactual and structural approaches to causation, and devises simple mathematical tools for analyzing the relationships between causal connections, statistical associations, actions and observations. The book will open the way for including causal analysis in the standard curriculum of statistics, artifical intelligence, business, epidemiology, social science and economics. Students in these areas will find natural models, simple identification procedures, and precise mathematical definitions of causal concepts that traditional texts have tended to evade or make unduly complicated. This book will be of interest to professionals and students in a wide variety of fields. Anyone who wishes to elucidate meaningful relationships from data, predict effects of actions and policies, assess explanations of reported events, or form theories of causal understanding and causal speech will find this book stimulating and invaluable.

Professor of Computer Science at the UCLA, Judea Pearl is the winner of the 2008 Benjamin Franklin Award in Computers and Cognitive Science.


Causality - Aristotle, Aristotle's Legacy, Descartes, Descartes's Successors, Hume, Kant - Knowledge, Epistemic, Effect, and Issue

Efficient causation: Our debt to Aristotle and Hume

A Short History of ‘Causation’[1]

Menno Hulswit
University of Nijmegen
P.O. Box 9102
6500 HC, Nijmegen, The Netherlands

Aristotle - Four Causes Model

Aristotle identified  four causes. This four causes model is applicable to everything that requires an explanation, including artistic production and human action. Four types of things  can be given in answer to a why-question:

The material cause: “that out of which”, e.g., material used to create the output

The formal cause: “the form”, “the account of what-it-is-to-be”, e.g., the shape of the output.

The efficient cause: “the primary source of the change or rest”, e.g., the artisan, the mangers, the doctor etc.

The final cause: “the end, that for the sake of which a thing is done”, e.g., for increasing efficiency or productivity

All the four (types of) causes may enter in the explanation of something.

Google Books - Links

Revitalizing Causality: Realism about Causality in Philosophy and Social Science

Ruth Groff
Routledge, 18-Dec-2007 - Philosophy - 288 pages

This cutting edge collection of new and previously published articles by philosophers and social scientists addresses just what it means to invoke causal mechanisms, or powers, in the context of offering a causal explanation. A unique collection, it offers the reader various disciplinary and inter-disciplinary divides, helping to stake out a new, neo-Aristotelian position within contemporary debate.