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Stochastic Causality

edited by Maria Carla Galavotti, Patrick Suppes, and Domenico Costantini

This volume is about causality, a topic of perennial interest in philosophy and many scientific disciplines. The focus is on probabilistic causality, which has dominated much of the recent literature on causality. The fifteen papers cover a wide variety of topics, such as the search for causal mechanisms, epistemic and metaphysical views of causality, Bayesian nets and causal dependence, and causation in the special sciences. Several papers stress the statistical analysis of probabilistic data, and the problems that have arisen in making appropriate inferences about causal relations. The last four papers address causal issues in physics, with emphasis on physical processes that are also probabilistic, in other words, stochastic processes. With this closing emphasis, the importance of stochastic causality, that is, causal analysis of stochastic processes, is stressed.

Maria Carla Galavotti is Professor of Science at the University of Bologna. Patrick Suppes is the Lucie Stern Professor of Philosophy, Emeritus at Stanford. Domenico Constantini is Professor of the Theory of Probability at the University of Bologna.


  • Contributors
  • Preface and Acknowledgements
  • 1 Causality, Mechanisms and Manipulation
    Maria Carla Galavotti
  • 2 Metaphysics over Methodology—or, Why Infidelity Provides No Grounds to Divorce Causes from Probabilities
    David Panineau
  • 3 Probabilistic Causality, Direct Causes and Counterfactual Dependence
    James Woodward
  • 4 Modularity: It Can—and Generally Does—Fail
    Nancy Cartwright
  • 5 Three Dogmas of Humean Causation
    Gürol Irzik
  • 6 Causation in the Special Sciences: The Case for Pragmatism
    Huw Price
  • 7 Analogy, Causal Patterns and Economic Choice
    Roberto Scazzieri
  • 8 Epistemic Causality and Hard Uncertainty: A Keynesian Approach
    Alessandro Vercelli
  • 9 Bayesian Nets Are All There Is to Causal Dependence
    Wolfgang Spohn
  • 10 The Causal Interpretation of the Regression Coefficients
    Paul W. Holland
  • 12 Hierarchal Models and Partial Exchangeability
    Attilio Wedlin
  • 13 A Characterization of Creation and Destruction Propensities
    Domenico Constantini and Ubaldo Garibaldi
  • 14 Physical Quantum States and the Meaning of Probability
    Michael Paty
  • 15 Stochastic Dynamical Reduction and Causality
    GianCarlo Ghirardi


ISBN (Paperback): 1575863227 (9781575863221)
ISBN (Cloth): 1575863219 (9781575863214)

Subject: Causation; Probabilities

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