phil001notesweek12

phil001notesweek12 - Dr Mcs Philosophy 001 (1077), Class...

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1077001week12notes 1 Dr Mc’s Philosophy 001 (1077), Class Notes, Week 12 © Final Exam: Monday, 10 December, 15.30-18.30 GYMWEST You will need official photo identification. Office hours end at the end of term (M, 3 Dec) I will have extra ones, Thursday, 6 December, 11.30-13.30 Email deadline: Thursday, 6 December, 15.00 Grades will be available at goSFU by 20 December Grades are NOT available from me or your TA If you want to see your Final Exam or to discuss your grade, check our website for my office hours in January. Knowledge of Singular Causal Statements Token event C caused token event E. You might think that you can just observe causation as it happens. Billiard balls example David Hume—Empiricist from 1700s Empiricists think that the senses are the primary source of our knowledge. (Rationalists think that reason is the primary source of our knowledge.) Hume is famous for his scepticism about causation. All we see is one event followed by another. If we often see events of the first type followed by events of the second, we form a “habit” But “constant conjunction” does not license claims about causation, thought Hume One can reject his sceptical conclusion while accepting that one does not observe causation directly. However, observation of events is required. Our knowledge of causation is not innate or just “common sense”.
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2 Knowledge of General Causal Statements How do we know when events of one kind cause events of another kind? We reason from correlations. A correlation is a starting place for a causal argument. Simple (soon-to-be-rejected) Causal Argument 1. C is positively correlated with E in P. 2. C causes E in P. (1) Even making this valid won’t help: 1. C is positively correlated with E in P. 2. If (1), then C causes E in P. 3. C causes E in P. The problem (obviously) is premise #2. There are four possible explanations for a correlation: If A is positively correlated with B [in p], then,: [assuming “in p” throughout] (i) B causes A, or (ii) Something else (C) causes both A and B, but A and B are otherwise independent. (That is, A and B have a common cause ), or (iii) The correlation is purely accidental, or (iv) A causes B T hese options exhaust the possibilities, though they are not exclusive.
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phil001notesweek12 - Dr Mcs Philosophy 001 (1077), Class...

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