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Time series, nonsense correlations and the principle of the common cause

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This paper examines some recent defences of the principle of the common cause (PCC) against Elliott Sober’s famous counterexample. There are two lines of attack: attempts to defuse the counterexample, that is, to show that the scenario described by Sober only apparently conflicts with the PCC; and attempts to demonstrate that the counterexample has no practical consequences. I show in this paper that there are problems with both strategies. In response, I formulate an alternative version of the principle that avoids the known counterexamples and that makes its status as fallible epistemic principle explicit.

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en

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http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/36503/

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