On The Metaphysics of Probabilistic Causation: Lessons from Social Epidemiology

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Glymour, Bruce
preprint description
I argue that the orthodox account of probabilistic causation, on which probabilistic causes determine the probability of their effects, is inconsistent with certain ontological assumptions implicit in scientific practice. In particular, scientists recognize the possibility that properties of populations can cause the behavior of members of the populations. Such emergent population level causation is metaphysically impossible on the orthodoxy.