As in probably clear from my comments here, I think philosophy, and in particular epistemology, is an area that is both incredibly important for social scientists and also a source of woeful ignorance, in general, for social scientists. Given that the study of causal relations is a huge part of economics, it blows my mind how many economists are unfamiliar with really, really basic philosophical arguments like preemption or the link between causality and counterfactuals.
Luckily, the Internet continues to pay dividends in its role as an information diffuser with Philosophy TV. This week’s episode is a conversation by two well-known philosophers, Ned Hall and L.A. Paul, on what contemporary philosophy thinks about causality. Well worth a watch, along with many others on the site. And with that, a promise from me to severely limit posts here that do not directly comment on economic research – I’m a good Ricardian and therefore believe in specialization!
Have you already looked at Pearl’s book on causality? It’s an interesting read
Excellent link, and excellent plug for philosophy of economics and social science. Thank you.
For those who really have the time to sit and think about causality in economics, Nancy Cartwright is definitely worth reading.
Agreed on both Pearl and Cartwright, particularly the latter.