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ISSN (print) 1136-0593 · ISSN (online) 2445-4192

Causal structures in economics: fuzzyness and supervenience as ontological problems

Pablo Sebastián Garcia: Facultad de Ciencias Económicas de la Universidad de Buenos Aires, CONICET de Argentina


In his article "The Causal Structure of the World" (2010), Wesley Salmon observes that the work contained in the Reichenbach´s famous paper of 1925 broke the grund for a development that flourishes today. Reichenbach´s main concerns in "The Causal Structure of the World and the Difference Between Past and Future" (1925) centered on causal determinism, i.e., the thesis famously articulated by Laplace that throughout the history of the universe what happens in the future is rigidly determined by what has happened in the past. But Reichenbach desagreed with Laplace: he believed that, at any given moment, the past is completely determined but the future remains, at least partially, undetermined. This distinction could be drawn in terms of certain probabilistic structures, and this oppinion led him to formulate a theory of probabilistic causality. Considering the probabilistic approach to knowledge in Economics, Kevin Hoover (2001) sustains the thesis according to which the literature on causality has been shaped by causal intuitions that suggest the existence of causal structures, revealed in the way things work. Both authors appeal, as we can see, to the structural configuration of reality. Both of them refuse to accept a rigid causal determinism and, in doing so, they set the conditions to discuss many ontological consequences of the undeterministic point of view, like ontological fuzzyness and the necessity of supervenience to explain the way undeterministic causality works.


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