, Volume 68, Issue 2, pp 149–168

The Metaphysics of Causal Models

Where’s the Biff?


    • School of Philosophy and BioethicsMonash University
  • Charles R. Twardy
    • Information Extraction & Transport, Inc. (IET)
  • Kevin B. Korb
    • Clayton School of Information TechnologyMonash University
  • Graham Oppy
    • School of Philosophy and BioethicsMonash University
Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s10670-007-9060-3

Cite this article as:
Handfield, T., Twardy, C.R., Korb, K.B. et al. Erkenn (2008) 68: 149. doi:10.1007/s10670-007-9060-3


This paper presents an attempt to integrate theories of causal processes—of the kind developed by Wesley Salmon and Phil Dowe—into a theory of causal models using Bayesian networks. We suggest that arcs in causal models must correspond to possible causal processes. Moreover, we suggest that when processes are rendered physically impossible by what occurs on distinct paths, the original model must be restricted by removing the relevant arc. These two techniques suffice to explain cases of late preëmption and other cases that have proved problematic for causal models.


CausationCausal modelsProcessesCounterfactualsPreëmption

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007