Same cause, same effect? A guest blog on causation in science

3-little-mice

by Maritza Ilich Mauseth

This is a discussion of an article by J.C. Crabbe, D. Wahlsten and B.C. Dudek on the ‘Genetics of Mouse Behavior: Interactions with Laboratory Environment‘, Science, 284, 1670-1672, 1999. It is written for the course PHI302 Causation in Science at Norwegian University of Life Sciences. Mauseth is a Master student in Ecology at the Faculty of Environmental Sciences and Natural Resource Management, with 170 credits in biology and an additional 15 (soon 20) credits in Philosophy. I asked her for permission to include the discussion in my blog as an example of how philosophical reflections about causation in science can be done in practice. Continue reading

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One cause, different effects

ImageOften we behave as if we think that a cause can only have one effect, while in fact it can have many. The type of effect depends on what else there is, besides the cause. In other words, it’s a matter of context. Continue reading