Causation and Manipulability

[Revised entry by James Woodward on October 14, 2016. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography, additional-criticisms.html, early-agency.html, notes.html, role-causal.html] Manipulability theories of
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[Revised entry by James Woodward on October 14, 2016. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography, additional-criticisms.html, early-agency.html, notes.html, role-causal.html] Manipulability theories of causation, according to which causes are to be regarded as handles or devices for manipulating effects, have considerable intuitive appeal and are popular among social scientists and statisticians. This article surveys several prominent versions of such theories advocated by philosophers, and the many difficulties they face. Philosophical statements of the manipulationist approach are generally reductionist in aspiration and assign a central role to human action. These contrast with recent discussions employing a...

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News source: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

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