Conference (Programme): Causality and experimentation in the sciences, 1-3 July, 2013, SND & IHPST (Paris, France)

This conference is not focused only on philosophy of economics, but some network members will participate and make presentations which are related to this specific field.

Presentation: Causality plays a central role in the sciences. Causal inference (finding out what causes what) and causal explanation (explaining how a cause produces its effect) are major scientific tasks in fields as diverse as astrophysics, biochemistry, biomedical or social sciences. Experimentation is probably the best way to get at causal knowledge. Relatedly, there has recently been a diversification of experimental practices in the sciences, most obviously with the rapid growth of computational science, but also with the extension of more conventional experimental practices to new domains, such as, e.g., parts of economics. This raises important questions: What are the relevant distinctions between different experimental practices? What counts as experimentation today?

Previous conferences in the Causality in the Sciences series have investigated the relationship between causality and challenging concepts such as probability and mechanisms. This one will focus on the relationship between causality and experimentation. This involves questions about the foundations of the sciences, such as: What are the prospects of an interventionist definition of causation? Is experimentation required for causal knowledge? But it also involves questions raised by specific scientific practices, e.g., do computer simulations license the same kind of causal claims as usual experimental practices do? What is the scope of causal conclusions drawn from randomized controlled trials?

These questions are all of important current concern. Much work and money is spent developing new experimental practices and it is important to determine how exactly experiments of different types can contribute to our causal knowledge and to our capacity to act on the things this knowledge is about.

Some presentations of this conference likely to interest the network members:

Alexander REUTLINGER (University of Cologne), “Interventions, Counterfactuals and the Open-systems Argument”,
Francesco GUALA (University of Milan), “Experiments as Measurement Tools: from Economics to Anthropology”,
Tobias HENSCHEN (University of Heidelberg), “Some Problems of Causal Inference from Non-experimental Data in Macroeconometrics”,
Jaakko KUORIKOSKI & Caterina MARCHIONNI (University of Helsinki), “Neuroeconomics as Triangulation”,
Inge DE BAL, Bert LEURIDAN & Erik WEBER (Ghent University) “Interventionism, Policy and Varieties of Evidence for Causal Claims”,
Lorenzo CASINI (Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy), “Interventions, Simulation, and Causal Inference”,
Maria JIMENEZ BUEDO (Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia), “Internal and External Validity: Implicit Assumptions about Causal Inference from Experiments”,
Julian REISS (Durham University), “A Theory of Evidence for Causal Claims”.

The complete programme is available here.

Further information concerning this conference:
http://caeits.sciencesconf.org/

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