Written by one of the preeminent researchers in the field, 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, economics, philosophy, cognitive science, and the health and social sciences. Judea Pearl presents and unifies the probabilistic, manipulative, counterfactual, and structural approaches to causation and devises simple mathematical tools for studying the relationships between causal connections and statistical associations. Cited in more than 2,100 scientific publications, it continues to liberate scientists from the traditional molds of statistical thinking. In this revised edition, Judea Pearl elucidates thorny issues, answers readers' questions, and offers a panoramic view of recent advances in this field of research. Causality will be of interest to students and professionals in a wide variety of fields. Dr Judea Pearl has received the 2011 Rumelhart Prize for his leading research in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and systems from The Cognitive Science Society.
Causality offers the first comprehensive coverage of causal analysis in many sciences, including recent advances using graphical methods. 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, artificial intelligence,...
Causality offers the first comprehensive coverage of causal analysis in many sciences, including recent advances using graphical methods. 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 and statistical associations. The book will facilitate the incorporation of causal analysis as an integral part of the standard curriculum in statistics, business, epidemiology, social science and economics. Causality will be of interest to professionals and students in the fields of statistics, artificial intelligence, philosophy, cognitive science, and the health and social sciences.
The mathematization of causality is a relatively recent development, and has become increasingly important in data science and machine learning. This book offers a self-contained and concise introduction to causal models and how to learn them from data. After explaining the need for causal models and discussing some of the principles underlying causal inference, the book teaches readers how to use causal models: how to compute intervention distributions, how to infer causal models from observational and interventional data, and how causal ideas could be exploited for classical machine learning problems. All of these topics are discussed first in terms of two variables and then in the more general multivariate case. The bivariate case turns out to be a particularly hard problem for causal learning because there are no conditional independences as used by classical methods for solving multivariate cases. The authors consider analyzing statistical asymmetries between cause and effect to be highly instructive, and they report on their decade of intensive research into this problem. The book is accessible to readers with a background in machine learning or statistics, and can be used in graduate courses or as a reference for researchers. The text includes code snippets that can be copied and pasted, exercises, and an appendix with a summary of the most important technical concepts.
A Turing Award-winning computer scientist and statistician shows how understanding causality has revolutionized science and will revolutionize artificial intelligence "Correlation is not causation." This mantra, chanted by scientists for more than a century, has led to a virtual prohibition on causal talk. Today, that taboo is dead. The causal revolution, instigated by Judea Pearl and his colleagues, has cut through a century of confusion and established causality--the study of cause and effect--on a firm scientific basis. His work explains how we can know easy things, like whether it was rain or a sprinkler that made a sidewalk wet; and how to answer hard questions, like whether a drug cured an illness. Pearl's work enables us to know not just whether one thing causes another: it lets us explore the world that is and the worlds that could have been. It shows us the essence of human thought and key to artificial intelligence. Anyone who wants to understand either needs The Book of Why.
This pioneering work is the first to trace how our understanding of the causes of human behavior has changed radically over the course of European and American cultural history since 1830. Focusing on the act of murder, as documented vividly by more than a hundred novels including Crime and Punishment, An American Tragedy, The Trial, and Lolita, Stephen Kern devotes each chapter of A Cultural History of Causality to examining a specific causal factor or motive for murder--ancestry, childhood, language, sexuality, emotion, mind, society, and ideology. In addition to drawing on particular novels, each chapter considers the sciences (genetics, endocrinology, physiology, neuroscience) and systems of thought (psychoanalysis, linguistics, sociology, forensic psychiatry, and existential philosophy) most germane to each causal factor or motive. Kern identifies five shifts in thinking about causality, shifts toward increasing specificity, multiplicity, complexity, probability, and uncertainty. He argues that the more researchers learned about the causes of human behavior, the more they realized how much more there was to know and how little they knew about what they thought they knew. The book closes by considering the revolutionary impact of quantum theory, which, though it influenced novelists only marginally, shattered the model of causal understanding that had dominated Western thought since the seventeenth century. Others have addressed changing ideas about causality in specific areas, but no one has tackled a broad cultural history of this concept as does Stephen Kern in this engagingly written and lucidly argued book.
A book about Kant's views on causality as understood in their proper historical context.
Causality plays a central role in the way people structure the world; we constantly seek causal explanations for our observations. But what does it even mean that an event C "actually caused" event E? The problem of defining actual causation goes beyond mere philosophical speculation. For example, in many legal arguments, it is precisely what needs to be established in order to determine responsibility. The philosophy literature has been struggling with the problem of defining causality since Hume.In this book, Joseph Halpern explores actual causality, and such related notions as degree of responsibility, degree of blame, and causal explanation. The goal is to arrive at a definition of causality that matches our natural language usage and is helpful, for example, to a jury deciding a legal case, a programmer looking for the line of code that cause some software to fail, or an economist trying to determine whether austerity caused a subsequent depression.Halpern applies and expands an approach to causality that he and Judea Pearl developed, based on structural equations. He carefully formulates a definition of causality, and building on this, defines degree of responsibility, degree of blame, and causal explanation. He concludes by discussing how these ideas can be applied to such practical problems as accountability and program verification. Technical details are generally confined to the final section of each chapter and can be skipped by non-mathematical readers.
For over two decades Wesley Salmon has helped to shape the course of debate in philosophy of science. He is a major contributor to the philosophical discussion of problems associated with causality and the author of two influential books on scientific explanation. This long-awaited volume collects twenty- six of Salmon's essays, including seven that have never before been published and others difficult to find. Part I comprises five introductory essays that presuppose no formal training in philosophy of science and form a background for subsequent essays. Parts II and III contain Salmon's seminal work on scientific explanation and causality. Part IV offers survey articles that feature advanced material but remain accessible to those outside philosophy of science. Essays in Part V address specific issues in particular scientific disciplines, namely, archaeology and anthropology, astrophysics and cosmology, and physics. Clear, compelling, and essential, this volume offers a superb introduction to philosophy of science for nonspecialists and belongs on the bookshelf of all who carry out work in this exciting field. Wesley Salmon is renowned for his seminal contributions to the philosophy of science. He has powerfully and permanently shaped discussion of such issues as lawlike and probabilistic explanation and the interrelation of explanatory notions to causal notions. This unique volume brings together twenty-six of his essays on subjects related to causality and explanation, written over the period 1971-1995. Six of the essays have never been published before and many others have only appeared in obscure venues. The volume includes a section of accessible introductory pieces, as well as more advanced and technical pieces, and will make essential work in the philosophy of science readily available to both scholars and students.
"This book presents a new approach to causal inference and explanation, addressing both the timing and complexity of relationships. The method's feasibility and success is demonstrated through theoretical and experimental case studies"--
What types of entities qualify as causes and effects? What is the relationship between cause and effect? How are causal claims to be assessed? The first question deals with the structure of the world; the second is about theories that interpret the relationship of causes to effects; while the third has to do with proper procedure in science and everyday life. This volume is a wide-ranging history of answers that have been given to these three questions, and their relationship to scientific understanding.Losee presents a number of theories of causality within a historical survey that emphasizes the interrelationship between these theories and developments in science. His analysis displays the strengths and weaknesses of these theories so as to contribute to our present understanding of causal relatedness.Among the positions discussed are those of Aristotle, Hume, Kant, Mill, Salmon, Lewis, and Woodward. Losee's analysis displays the strengths and weaknesses of theories that identify causal relatedness with regularity of sequence, probability increase, energy transfer, exchange of a conserved quantity, counterfactual dependence, and inferability.These theories are judged, in part,by their ability to resolvedifficulties posed by instances of overdetermination,causation by omission, preventive causation, and causation by disconnection. Since applications of the theories to these instances disagree, a strategy of employing multiple concepts of causation is examined.Theories of Causality also describes the particular difficulties for causal analysis posed by quantum mechanics. One such difficulty is the prohibition against combining a causal analysis of a quantum process with a spatio-temporal description of that process.
Why do ideas of how mechanisms relate to causality and probability differ so much across the sciences? Can progress in understanding the tools of causal inference in some sciences lead to progress in others? This book tackles these questions and others concerning the use of causality in the sciences.
DIVImportant, non-technical, clearly written examination of causality, including discussion of empirical and romantic critiques. /div
This book brings important new dimensions to the interface between contemporary Western science and ancient Eastern wisdom. Here for the first time the concepts and insights of general systems theory are presented in tandem with those of the Buddha. Remarkable convergences appear between core Buddhist teachings and the systems view of reality, arising in our century from biology and extending into the social and cognitive sciences. Giving a cogent introduction to both bodies of thought, and a fresh interpretation of the Buddha’s core teaching of dependent co-arising, this book shows how their common perspective on causality can inform our lives. The interdependence of all beings provides the context for clarifying both the role of meditative practice and guidelines for effective action on behalf of the common good.
A state of the art volume on statistical causality Causality: Statistical Perspectives and Applications presents a wide-ranging collection of seminal contributions by renowned experts in the field, providing a thorough treatment of all aspects of statistical causality. It covers the various formalisms in current use, methods for applying them to specific problems, and the special requirements of a range of examples from medicine, biology and economics to political science. This book: Provides a clear account and comparison of formal languages, concepts and models for statistical causality. Addresses examples from medicine, biology, economics and political science to aid the reader's understanding. Is authored by leading experts in their field. Is written in an accessible style. Postgraduates, professional statisticians and researchers in academia and industry will benefit from this book.
Head hits cause brain damage - but not always. Should we ban sport to protect athletes? Exposure to electromagnetic fields is strongly associated with cancer development - does that mean exposure causes cancer? Should we encourage old fashioned communication instead of mobile phones to reduce cancer rates? According to popular wisdom, the Mediterranean diet keeps you healthy. Is this belief scientifically sound? Should public health bodies encourage consumption of fresh fruit and vegetables? Severe financial constraints on research and public policy, media pressure, and public anxiety make such questions of immense current concern not just to philosophers but to scientists, governments, public bodies, and the general public. In the last decade there has been an explosion of theorizing about causality in philosophy, and also in the sciences. This literature is both fascinating and important, but it is involved and highly technical. This makes it inaccessible to many who would like to use it, philosophers and scientists alike. This book is an introduction to philosophy of causality - one that is highly accessible: to scientists unacquainted with philosophy, to philosophers unacquainted with science, and to anyone else lost in the labyrinth of philosophical theories of causality. It presents key philosophical accounts, concepts and methods, using examples from the sciences to show how to apply philosophical debates to scientific problems.
Recent advances suggest that the concept of information might hold the key to unravelling the mystery of life's nature and origin. Fresh insights from a broad and authoritative range of articulate and respected experts focus on the transition from matter to life, and hence reconcile the deep conceptual schism between the way we describe physical and biological systems. A unique cross-disciplinary perspective, drawing on expertise from philosophy, biology, chemistry, physics, and cognitive and social sciences, provides a new way to look at the deepest questions of our existence. This book addresses the role of information in life, and how it can make a difference to what we know about the world. Students, researchers, and all those interested in what life is and how it began will gain insights into the nature of life and its origins that touch on nearly every domain of science.
Why was there a meltdown at the Fukushima power plant? Why do some people get cancer and not others? Why is global warming happening? Why does one person get depressed in the face of life's vicissitudes while another finds resilience? Questions like these—questions of causality—form the basis of modern scientific inquiry, posing profound intellectual and methodological challenges for researchers in the physical, natural, biomedical, and social sciences. In this groundbreaking book, noted psychiatrist and author Peter Rabins offers a conceptual framework for analyzing daunting questions of causality. Navigating a lively intellectual voyage between the shoals of strict reductionism and relativism, Rabins maps a three-facet model of causality and applies it to a variety of questions in science, medicine, economics, and more. Throughout this book, Rabins situates his argument within relevant scientific contexts, such as quantum mechanics, cybernetics, chaos theory, and epigenetics. A renowned communicator of complex concepts and scientific ideas, Rabins helps readers stretch their minds beyond the realm of popular literary tipping points, blinks, and freakonomic explanations of the world.
In this classic, David Bohm was the first to offer us his causal interpretation of the quantum theory. Causality and Chance in Modern Physics continues to make possible further insight into the meaning of the quantum theory and to suggest ways of extending the theory into new directions.