Single Idea 16175

[catalogued under 26. Natural Theory / C. Causation / 8. Particular Causation / e. Probabilistic causation]

Full Idea

A cause ought to increase the frequency of the effect, but this fact may not show up in the probabilities if other causes are at work.

Gist of Idea

A cause won't increase the effect frequency if other causes keep interfering


Nancy Cartwright (How the Laws of Physics Lie [1983], 1.1)

Book Reference

Cartwright,Nancy: 'How the Laws of Physics Lie' [OUP 2002], p.23

A Reaction

[She cites Patrick Suppes for this one] Presumably in experimental situations you can weed out the interference, but that threatens to eliminate mere 'probability' entirely.