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Arnaud Pocheville (University of Sydney, Australia), An Introduction to Measuring Causal Specificity
6 April 2018 | 14 h 30 min - 16 h 00 min
Several authors have argued that causes differ in the degree to which they are ‘specific’ to their effects. Woodward has used this idea to enrich his influential interventionist the- ory of causal explanation. Here we propose a way to measure causal specificity using tools from information theory. We show that the specificity of a causal variable is not well de- fined without a probability distribution over the states of that variable. We demonstrate the tractability and interest of our proposed measure by measuring the specificity of coding DNA and other factors in a simple model of the production of mRNA.
Based on: Paul E. Griffiths, Arnaud Pocheville, Brett Calcott, Karola Stotz, Hyunju Kim, and Rob Knight, Measuring Causal Specificity, Philosophy of Science (2015).
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