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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.