Probabilistic Causation
Hitchcock (Christopher)
Source: Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy, 1997-2018
Paper - Abstract

Paper SummaryNotes Citing this PaperText Colour-Conventions

Author’s Abstract

  1. “Probabilistic Causation” designates a group of theories that aim to characterize the relationship between cause and effect using the tools of probability theory. The central idea behind these theories is that causes change the probabilities of their effects. This article traces developments in probabilistic causation, including recent developments in causal modeling. A variety of issues within, and objections to, probabilistic theories of causation will also be discussed.
  2. This entry surveys the main approaches to characterizing causation in terms of probability.
    • Section 1 provides some of the motivation for probabilistic approaches to causation, and addresses a few preliminary issues.
    • Section 2 surveys theories that aim to characterize causation in terms of probability-raising.
    • Section 3 surveys developments in causal modeling. Some of the more technical details have been relegated to the supplements.
    • Additional probabilistic approaches to causation are surveyed in Section 4 and in the supplements.

  1. Motivation and Preliminaries
    → 1.1 Problems for Regularity Theories
    → 1.2 Probability
    → 1.3 Causal Relata
    → 1.4 The Interpretation of Probability
  2. Probability-raising Theories of Causation
    → 2.1 Probability-raising and Conditional Probability
    → 2.2 Screening off
    → 2.3 The Common Cause Principle
    → 2.4 The Fork Asymmetry
    → 2.5 Simpson's Paradox and Background Contexts
    → 2.6 Other Causal Relations
    → 2.7 Population-relativity
    → 2.8 Contextual-unanimity
    → 2.9 Path-specific Causation
    → 2.10 Potential Counterexamples
    → 2.11 Singular and General Causation
  3. Causal Modeling
    → 3.1 Causal Models
    → 3.2 The Markov Condition
    → 3.3 The Causal Markov Condition
    → 3.4 The Minimality and Faithfulness Conditions
    → 3.5 Unshielded Colliders and Asymmetry
    → 3.6 Intervention
    → 3.7 Statistical Distinguishability and Reduction
  4. Other Theories
    → 4.1 Counterfactual Theories
    → 4.2 The Canberra Plan
    → 4.3 Interventionist Theories
    → 4.4 Singular Causation and the Evolution of Probabilities in Time
    Other Internet Resources
    Related Entries

  1. Suppes' Motivation for the No-screening-off Condition
  2. Common Confusions Involving the Common Cause Principle
  3. The Fork Asymmetry and the Second Law of Thermodynamics
  4. Contextual-unanimity and Dupré's Critique
  5. The Markov Condition
  6. Three Results Concerning Statistical Distinguishability
  7. Singular Causation and the Evolution of Probabilities in Time
  8. Notes to Probabilistic Causation


Text Colour Conventions (see disclaimer)

  1. Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2018
  2. Mauve: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); © the author(s)

© Theo Todman, June 2007 - April 2018. Please address any comments on this page to File output:
Website Maintenance Dashboard
Return to Top of this Page Return to Theo Todman's Philosophy Page Return to Theo Todman's Home Page