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James Woodward (University of Pittsburgh, History & Philosophy of Science Dpt, USA), Causation in Biology
13 July 2017 | 14 h 30 min - 16 h 00 min
Causation in Biology
This talk will discuss some recent work on causation in biology from a broadly interventionist perspective. The basic idea of an interventionist account of causation is that causal relationships are relationships that are potentially exploitable for manipulation and control. I will use this general framework to discuss some issues having to do the modeling of causal relationships across different levels or scales, notions of causal specificity, and the role of a consideration that I call conditional independence which is closely related to the notion of causal proportionality discussed in the philosophical literature. A guiding theme throughout the talk will the importance of finding the right “level” or the right variables for framing causal hypotheses.
Patricia Churchland (UC President’s Professor of Philosophy Emerita UCSD, USA), Our brains and our moral intuitions6 January | 18 h 00 min - 19 h 30 min
Paul Rainey (Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology), Ecological scaffolding and the Evolution of Individuality21 January | 16 h 00 min - 18 h 00 min