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Diagramming and reasoning about causes Phil 12: Logic and Decision Making Spring 2011 UC San Diego 5/19/2011 Thursday, May 19, 2011

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Announcements TAs returning paper 1 via UCSD email Paper 2 instructions will be posted by Monday - new due date: Tuesday May 31st Thursday, May 19, 2011
Review: Mill’s methods Designed to identify the likely cause from amongst possible causes - Method of agreement: Start with cases that agree in the effect and find what possible cause they have in common - Method of difference: Start with cases that differ in the effect and find if there is one possible cause on which they differ - Method of concomitant variation: Find a possible causal variable that varies (directly or inversely) with the effect - Method of residues: Find possible causal variable that is left over once all other effects have been traced to causes Thursday, May 19, 2011

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Which of Mill’s methods is illustrated in this example: “It is no longer open to discussion that air has weight. It is common knowledge that a balloon is heavier when inflated than when empty, which is proof enough. For if the air were light, the more the balloon was inflated, the lighter the whole would be, since there would be more air in it. But since, on the contrary, when more air is put in, the whole becomes heavier, it follows that each part has a weight of its own and consequently that the air has weight.” (Pascal, Treatise on the Weight of the Mass of the Air , 1653) A. Method of agreement B. Method of difference C. Method of residues D. Method of concomitant variation Clicker question Thursday, May 19, 2011
Which of Mill’s methods is illustrated in this example: When normal mice are placed in a lighted room with dark corners, they go immediately to the dark. In a recent experiment, normal mice upon entering the dark receive a mild electric shock, and very quickly learn to stay away from the dark regions. Mice who lack a gene called Ras-GRF (“knockout mice”) learn to be wary just as quickly as do normal mice. But , unlike normal mice, these knockout mice throw caution to the wind the next day, and chance the dark corners again and yet again. It is appears that the Ras-GRF gene plays a critical role in the ability of mice to remember fear, which is almost certainly crucial for the survival of mammals. ( Nature , Dec. 1997) A. Method of agreement B. Method of difference C. Method of residues D. Method of concomitant variation Clicker question Thursday, May 19, 2011

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Which of Mill’s methods is illustrated in this example: Researchers from the National Cancer Institute announced they found a number of genetic markers shared by gay brothers, indicating that homosexuality has genetic roots. The investigators found that out of 40 pairs of gay brothers examined, 33 pairs shared certain DNA sequences on their X chromosome. The implicit reasoning is that if gay brothers who have specific DNA sequences in common are both gay, these sequences can be considered genetic markers for homosexuality. ( Science , July 16th, 1993) A. Method of agreement B. Method of difference C. Method of residues D. Method of concomitant variation Clicker question Thursday, May 19, 2011
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