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Portable Causal Dependence: A Tale of Consilience

Philosophy of Science Association
Publication Date
  • Philosophy
  • Psychology


This article describes research pursued by members of the McDonnell Collaborative on Causal Learning. A number of members independently converged on a similar idea: one of the central functions served by claims of actual causation is to highlight patterns of dependence that are highly portable into novel contexts. I describe in detail how this idea emerged in my own work and also in that of the psychologist Tania Lombrozo. In addition, I use the occasion to reflect on the nature of interdisciplinary collaboration in general and on the interaction between philosophy and psychology in particular.

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