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Spring 2024 Colloquium: Causation in the Life Sciences, with Professor Lauren Ross

Friday, April 5, 2024 - 3:00pm to 5:00pm

Cohen Hall Room 402

Please join us on Friday, April 5th for our Philosophy Department Colloquium with Professor Lauren Ross. 

The event will start at 3pm in room 402 of Cohen Hall, with a reception to follow.



Talk Title: Causation in the Life Sciences

Abstract: In this talk I examine two types of causation that commonly arise in the life sciences, namely, causal strength and causal stability. I discuss how these two types are central to assessments of explanatory power, how they are examined with various scientific metrics, and how they have distinct implications for the goals of prediction, control, and attribution of responsibility.  Interestingly, these two types are commonly found (and mistakenly conflated) in scientific discussions that cite sufficient causes, deterministic or probabilistic causes, and causal relationships that generalize.  I provide an analysis of these types of causation with examples from genetics, neuroscience, evolutionary biology, and ordinary life cases.  This work demonstrates how providing a more precise taxonomy of types of causation is an important addition to existing philosophical accounts of causation and scientific explanation.

Learn more about our guest speaker, Professor Lauren Ross, by clicking here.