SOPhiA 2021

Salzburgiense Concilium Omnibus Philosophis Analyticis

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Programme - Talk

Searching Probabilistic Difference-Making Within Specificity
(Philosophy of Science, )

The idea that good explanations come with strong changes in probabilities has been very common. This criterion is called probabilistic difference-making. Since it is an intuitive criterion and has a long tradition in the literature on scientific explanation, it comes as a surprise that this criterion is rarely discussed in the context of interventionist causal explanation. Specificity, proportionality, and stability are usually employed to measure explanatory power instead. This paper is a first step into the larger project of connecting difference-making to the interventionist debate, and it starts by investigating whether probabilistic difference-making is contained in the notion of specificity. The choice of specificity is motivated by the observation that both probabilistic differencemaking and specificity build on similar underlying intuitions. When comparing measures for both specificity and probabilistic difference-making, it turns out that the measures are not strictly correlated, and so the thesis that probabilistic difference-making is encoded within specificity has to be rejected. Consequences of this result are discussed

as well.

Chair: Andelija Milic
Time: 14:40-15:10, 09 September 2021 (Thursday)
Location: SR 1.006
Remark: (Online Talk)

Andreas Lüchinger 
(MCMP, LMU Munich, Germany)

- Raised in Goldach (Kanton St. Gallen), Switzerland

- I received my Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from the University of Bern (Switzerland) in 2019

- I am currently studying Logic and Philosophy of Science at the Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy at LMU Munich (4th semester).

- The working title of my Master thesis is: Unified Measures of Causal Explanatory Strength. The thesis attempts to use specificity, proportionality, and stability to construct a general measure of causal explanatory strength. This project demands that relations between those concepts are analysed as well.

Testability and Meaning deco