On Laws and Counterfactuals in Causal Reasoning

Bochman, Alexander (Holon Institute of Technology)

AAAI Conferences 

We explore the relationships between causal rules and counterfactuals, as well as their relative representation capabilities, in the logical framework of the causal calculus. It will be shown that, though counterfactuals are readily definable on the basis of causal rules, the reverse reduction is achievable only up to a certain logical threshold (basic equivalence). As a result, we will argue that counterfactuals cannot distinguish causal theories that justify different claims of actual causation, which could be seen as the main source of the problem of `structural equivalents' in counterfactual approaches to causation. This will lead us to a general conclusion about the primary role of causal rules in representing causation.