1 hr 25 min

BI 145 James Woodward: Causation with a Human Face Brain Inspired

    • Natural Sciences

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James Woodward is a recently retired Professor from the Department of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Pittsburgh. Jim has tremendously influenced the field of causal explanation in the philosophy of science. His account of causation centers around intervention - intervening on a cause should alter its effect. From this minimal notion, Jim has described many facets and varieties of causal structures. In this episode, we discuss topics from his recent book, Causation with a Human Face: Normative Theory and Descriptive Psychology. In the book, Jim advocates that how we should think about causality - the normative - needs to be studied together with how we actually do think about causal relations in the world - the descriptive. We discuss many topics around this central notion, epistemology versus metaphysics, the the nature and varieties of causal structures.





Jim's website.Making Things Happen: A Theory of Causal Explanation.Causation with a Human Face: Normative Theory and Descriptive Psychology.



0:00 - Intro
4:14 - Causation with a Human Face & Functionalist approach
6:16 - Interventionist causality; Epistemology and metaphysics
9:35 - Normative and descriptive
14:02 - Rationalist approach
20:24 - Normative vs. descriptive
28:00 - Varying notions of causation
33:18 - Invariance
41:05 - Causality in complex systems
47:09 - Downward causation
51:14 - Natural laws
56:38 - Proportionality
1:01:12 - Intuitions
1:10:59 - Normative and descriptive relation
1:17:33 - Causality across disciplines
1:21:26 - What would help our understanding of causation

Check out my free video series about what's missing in AI and Neuroscience






Support the show to get full episodes and join the Discord community.










James Woodward is a recently retired Professor from the Department of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Pittsburgh. Jim has tremendously influenced the field of causal explanation in the philosophy of science. His account of causation centers around intervention - intervening on a cause should alter its effect. From this minimal notion, Jim has described many facets and varieties of causal structures. In this episode, we discuss topics from his recent book, Causation with a Human Face: Normative Theory and Descriptive Psychology. In the book, Jim advocates that how we should think about causality - the normative - needs to be studied together with how we actually do think about causal relations in the world - the descriptive. We discuss many topics around this central notion, epistemology versus metaphysics, the the nature and varieties of causal structures.





Jim's website.Making Things Happen: A Theory of Causal Explanation.Causation with a Human Face: Normative Theory and Descriptive Psychology.



0:00 - Intro
4:14 - Causation with a Human Face & Functionalist approach
6:16 - Interventionist causality; Epistemology and metaphysics
9:35 - Normative and descriptive
14:02 - Rationalist approach
20:24 - Normative vs. descriptive
28:00 - Varying notions of causation
33:18 - Invariance
41:05 - Causality in complex systems
47:09 - Downward causation
51:14 - Natural laws
56:38 - Proportionality
1:01:12 - Intuitions
1:10:59 - Normative and descriptive relation
1:17:33 - Causality across disciplines
1:21:26 - What would help our understanding of causation

1 hr 25 min