Social Sciences . Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Fair, Ray. 1978. The effect of economic events on votes for President. Review of Economics and Statistics 60: 159–73. Frigg, Roman; Bradley, Seamus; Du, Hailiang; and Smith, Leonard. 2014. Laplace’s Demon and the adventures of his apprentices. Philosophy of Science 81: 31–59. Giddens, Anthony. 1976. New Rules of Sociological Method: A Positive Critique of interpretative Sociologies . London: Hutchinson. Guala, Francesco. 2005. Methodology of Experimental Economics . Cambridge
Can a collective be an agent in its own right? Can it be the bearer of moral and other properties that we have traditionally reserved for individual agents? The answer, as one might expect, is ‘In some ways yes, in other ways no.’ The way in which the answer is ‘Yes’ has been described recently by Copp; I intend to discuss his position and defend it against objections. This describes a fairly weak form of autonomy that I will claim does not require the abandonment of methodological individualism or our commonplace intuitions about individual responsibility. I will also discuss, and reject, a stronger conception of autonomy suggested especially by the work of Pettit that would result in methodological individualism.
Systems medicine is a promising new paradigm for discovering associations, causal relationships and mechanisms in medicine. But it faces some tough challenges that arise from the use of big data: in particular, the problem of how to integrate evidence and the problem of how to structure the development of models. I argue that objective Bayesian models offer one way of tackling the evidence integration problem. I also offer a general methodology for structuring the development of models, within which the objective Bayesian approach fits rather naturally.
María Jiménez-Buedo and Federica Russo
The advantage of examining causality from the perspective of modelling is thus that it puts us naturally closer to the practice of the sciences. This means being able to set up an interdisciplinary dialogue that contrasts and compares modelling practices in different fields, say economics and biology, medicine and statistics, climate change and physics. It also means that it helps philosophers looking for questions that go beyond the narrow ‘what-is-causality’ or ‘what-are-relata’ and thus puts causality right at the centre of a complex crossroad: epistemology/methodology, metaphysics, politics/ethics. This special issue collects nine papers that touch upon various scientific fields, from system biology to medicine to quantum mechanics to economics, and different questions, from explanation and prediction to the role of both true and false assumptions in modelling.
In this paper, I will defend the claim that there are three existence properties: the second-order property of being instantiated, a substantive first-order property (or better a group of such properties) and a formal, hence universal, first-order property. I will first try to show what these properties are and why we need all of them for ontological purposes. Moreover, I will try to show why a Meinong-like option that positively endorses both the former and the latter first-order property is the correct view in ontology. Finally, I will add some methodological remarks as to why this debate has to be articulated from the point of view of reality, i.e., by speaking of properties, rather than from the point of view of language, i.e., by speaking of predicates (for such properties).
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Marilia Espirito Santo
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