This book provides a post-positivist theory of deterministic and probabilistic causality that supports both quantitative and qualitative explanations. Features of particular interest include the ability to provide true explanations in contexts where our knowledge is incomplete, a systematic interpretation of causal modeling techniques in the social sciences, and a direct realist view of causal relations that is compatible with a liberal empiricism. The book should be of wide interest to both philosophers and scientists.
Originally published in 1989.
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"A careful and sophisticated attempt to explicate the notion of explanation, especially in the probabilistic or statistical context."--Lawrence Sklar, The American Scientist
"This work is by far the best thing written on probabilistic causality and probabilistic explanation to date."--Wesley C. Salmon, University of Pittsburgh
"The Chances of Explanation--which is, incidentally, extraordinarily clever and interesting--ought to be put into the hands of any social scientist who engages in probabilistic explanation of any sort."--Alan Ryan, Princeton University
Table of Contents:
- FrontMatter, pg. i
- CONTENTS, pg. vii
- PREFACE, pg. ix
- CHAPTER ONE. Traditional Causation, pg. 3
- CHAPTER TWO. Probabilistic Causation, pg. 22
- CHAPTER THREE. Cause and Chance, pg. 61
- CHAPTER FOUR. Scientific Explanations, pg. 98
- APPENDIX ONE. Covariance Measures, pg. 143
- APPENDIX TWO. Extension of the Basic Quantitative Theory, pg. 145
- APPENDIX THREE. Transitivity and Negative Links, pg. 153
- REFERENCES, pg. 158
- INDEX, pg. 167