Phil12_S11_Causation&experiments(5-24-2011)

Phil12_S11_Causation&experiments(5-24-2011) -...

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Unformatted text preview: Causation and experiments Phil 12: Logic and Decision Making Spring 2011 UC San Diego 5/24/2011 Tuesday, May 24, 2011 Review Diagramming causal relations- Variables as nodes (boxes)- Causal relations as arrows Not tracing the fow oF activity, but causal relations- IF there are conditions under which changing one variable will result in change oF another variable, include a arrow between the variables Sometimes there are important intermediate causes such that a more ultimate cause only produces its eFFect through a more proximate cause Match struck [yes, no] Tip temperature [>350, <350] Match lit [yes, no] Tuesday, May 24, 2011 Review - 2 Common cause- A positive correlation between two variables may be the result of a common cause for both Pine needles [on tree, dropped] Fish [alive, dead] Toxic waste [no, yes] If the causation is direct, there should be no way to screen off E from C Tuesday, May 24, 2011 Review - 3 Causal Fallacies- treating mere coincidences as causal- post hoc, ergo propter hoc- confusing cause and effect- ignoring a common cause- assuming a common cause Tuesday, May 24, 2011 Confusing cause and effect Is a child difFcult because the parents are short-tempered? Or are the parents short of temper because the child is difFcult? Parents short-tempered [no, yes] Child difFcult [no, yes] Tuesday, May 24, 2011 Assuming/Ignoring common causes Assuming common causes : Based on a correlation between two variables, assume there must be a common cause of them both Ignoring common causes : Based on a correlation between two variables, assume a direct causal relationship, when there really is a common cause for both Test for common cause: - must identify the cause and determine that varying it alone alters both effects - If varying the purported cause fails to alter both effects, there is no common cause, but rather two correlated causes Tuesday, May 24, 2011 What causal fallacy is illustrated in this example: Immigration to Alberta from Ontario increased. Soon after, the welfare rolls increased. Therefore, the increased immigration caused the increased welfare rolls. A. Ignoring a common cause B. Assuming a common cause C. Post hoc, ergo propter hoc D. Confusing cause and effect Clicker question Tuesday, May 24, 2011 What causal fallacy is illustrated in this example: Two students in a large class turn in identical term papers. The teacher accuses them of copying from one another, even though the students can prove that they did not know one another and had no access to one anothers work. The teacher maintains nonetheless that the identical papers were caused by copying each from one another....
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Phil12_S11_Causation&experiments(5-24-2011) -...

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