Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy (MCMP)

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Zoom Talk: Gábor Hofer-Szabó (Hungarian Academy of Sciences) and Naftali Weinberger (MCMP)

Meeting-ID: 950 1039 5841

01.12.2021 16:00  – 18:00 

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Gábor Hofer-Szabó (Hungerian Academy of Sciences): A dynamical systems approach to causation

This approach aims at accounting for causal claims in terms of how the physical states of the underlying dynamical system evolve with time. Causal claims assert connections between two sets of physicals states—their truth depends on whether the two sets in question are genuinely connected by time evolution such that physical states from one set evolve with time into the states of the other set. We demonstrate the virtues of our approach by showing how it is able to account for typical causes, causally relevant factors, being ‘the’ cause, and cases of overdetermination and causation by absences.

Naftali Weinberger (MCMP): Dynamic Causal Models – Implications and Open Questions

Dynamic causal models (Iwasaki and Simon, 1994; Dash, 2003; Blom and Mooij, 2021) enable one to causally model the behavior of systems away from equilibrium, and provide a formal operation for deriving an equilibrium causal model from a dynamic one. While dynamic causal models are prima facie a straightforward generalization of traditional static ones, key scholars have drawn distinctions between the causal interpretability of the different types of models, with some (Dash) privileging dynamic models and others (Blom and Mooij) endorsing a non-standard type of equilibrium model. In my talk, I rebut the various arguments privileging one of the model types as uncompelling. I will nevertheless explain why the issue of which models can be causally interpreted calls for further philosophical inquiry.