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Extra resources for Beer - Intelligence as Adaptative Behavior
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.