This article develops axiomatic foundations for a probabilistic theory of causal strength as difference-making. I proceed in three steps: First, I motivate the choice of causal Bayes nets as an adequate framework for defining and comparing measures of causal strength. Second, I prove several representation theorems for probabilistic measures of causal strength—that is, I demonstrate how these measures can be derived from a set of plausible adequacy conditions. Third, I use these results to argue for a specific measure of causal strength: the difference that interventions on the cause make for the probability of the effect. I conclude by discussing my results and outlining future research avenues.
Skip Nav Destination
Jan Sprenger; Foundations of a Probabilistic Theory of Causal Strength. The Philosophical Review 1 July 2018; 127 (3): 371–398. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00318108-6718797
Download citation file: