Supporters of the autonomy of higher-level causation (or explanation) often appeal to pro- portionality, arguing that higher-level causes are more proportional than their lower-level realizers. Recently, measures based on information theory and causal modelling have been proposed that allow one to shed new light on proportionality and the related notion of specificity. In this article we apply ideas from this literature to the issue of higher versus lower-level causation (and explanation). Surprisingly, proportionality turns out to be irrel- evant for the question of whether higher-level causes (or explanations) can be autonomous; specificity is a much more informative notion for this purpose.

Quantifying proportionality and the limits of higher-level causation and explanation

Gebharter Alexander
Primo
Writing – Original Draft Preparation
;
2021

Abstract

Supporters of the autonomy of higher-level causation (or explanation) often appeal to pro- portionality, arguing that higher-level causes are more proportional than their lower-level realizers. Recently, measures based on information theory and causal modelling have been proposed that allow one to shed new light on proportionality and the related notion of specificity. In this article we apply ideas from this literature to the issue of higher versus lower-level causation (and explanation). Surprisingly, proportionality turns out to be irrel- evant for the question of whether higher-level causes (or explanations) can be autonomous; specificity is a much more informative notion for this purpose.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11566/306261
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