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How the Laws of Physics Lie$
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Nancy Cartwright

Print publication date: 1983

Print ISBN-13: 9780198247043

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0198247044.001.0001

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Causal Laws and Effective Strategies

Causal Laws and Effective Strategies

(p.21) Essay 1 Causal Laws and Effective Strategies
How the Laws of Physics Lie

Nancy Cartwright (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Argues for the irreducibility of causal laws to laws of association, probabilistic or deterministic. Statistical or probabilistic analyses of causality, which typically require that the cause increase or alter the probability of the effect, cannot succeed because causes increase the probability of their effects only in situations that exhibit causal homogeneity with respect to that effect (Simpson's paradox). This condition must enter the definition of an effective strategy, which is why causal laws are ineliminable for scientifically grounded interventions in nature.

Keywords:   causal laws, causal homogeneity, effective strategy, laws of association, probabilistic causality, Simpson's paradox

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