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4 Humean Events We have been calling subsets of the sample space Moivrean events, rather than simply events, as is customary in probability theory. This is because there is a different notion of event, more current in philosophy, which must be distin­ guished from the notion of Moivrean event in discussions of causality. An event in this philosophical sense is often more local than a Moivrean event. M. , Bennett 1 98 8 ). We call an event of this kind a Humean event, in honor of the Scottish philosopher whose discussion of causality initiated much of the philosophical literature on the topic (see Mackie 1 974 and Bennett 1 9 8 8 ).

A Moivrean event can always be thought of as a disjunction of conj unctions of simple Humean events: it is a disjunction of paths through the tree, and each path is a conjunction of successive steps. This supports the thesis, advanced by the philosopher J. L. Mackie (1974:62-63), that an event is always equivalent to a disj unction of conjunctions of its causes, and that each cause is an "inus condition" -an insufficient but non-redundant part of an unnecessary but suffi­ cient condition. Another kind of Humean event, slightly less local relative to the event tree than a simple Humean event, is a Humean chain.

One of the contributions of this book is to provide precise interpretations for causal diagrams. As it turns out, a diagram can often be interpreted in several different ways as a statement about nature's probabability tree. This means we can add depth to causal claims made on behalf of a diagram. Instead of accept­ ing or rejecting the vague claim that the diagram is causal, we can demand that this claim be made more specific. 8 � � /' Error Yield A path diagram for the yield of wheat. The double-headed arrow joining Phosphates and Acidity indicates that these variables may be correlated in the sample­ space sense.

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