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Actual Causality$
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Joseph Y. Halpern

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780262035026

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262035026.001.0001

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The HP Definition of Causality

The HP Definition of Causality

(p.9) Chapter 2 The HP Definition of Causality
Actual Causality

Joseph Y. Halpern

The MIT Press

Three variants of a definition of actual causality are introduced. These definition uses structural equations to model counterfactuals. The definition is shown to yield a plausible and elegant account of causation that handles well examples that have caused problems for other definitions. Although transitivity is not transitive according to this definition, conditions sufficient to guarantee transitivity of causality are provided. Although the definition given assumes that everything is known, it is shown to easily extend to a situation where there is uncertainty modeled using probability. A notion of sufficient causality is also considered, as well as causality in nonrecursive models, where there are circular dependencies

Keywords:   Causality, Structural equations, Halpern-Pearl definition, Transitivity, Probilistic causality, Sufficient causality, Causal paths, Nonrecursive models

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