Skip to main content
Kent Academic Repository

Epistemic Causality and its Application to the Social and Cognitive Sciences

Shan, Yafeng and Taylor, Samuel D. and Williamson, Jon (2024) Epistemic Causality and its Application to the Social and Cognitive Sciences. In: Shan, Yafeng, ed. Alternative Approaches to Causation: Beyond Difference-making and Mechanism. Oxford University Press, pp. 241-278. ISBN 978-0-19-286348-5. (doi:10.1093/oso/9780192863485.003.0010) (Access to this publication is currently restricted. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:105141)

PDF Author's Accepted Manuscript
Language: English

Restricted to Repository staff only until 17 January 2026.
Contact us about this Publication
[thumbnail of ECitSS.pdf]
Official URL:


The epistemic theory of causality views causality as a tool that helps us to predict, explain, and control our world, rather than as a relation that exists independently of our epistemic practices. In this chapter, the authors first provide an introduction to the epistemic theory of causality. They then outline four considerations that motivate the epistemic theory: the failure of standard theories of causality; parsimony; the epistemology of causality; and neutrality. These four considerations are illustrated in the contexts of the social sciences and the cognitive sciences. The authors argue that the epistemic theory provides a very natural account of causality across these contexts.

Item Type: Book section
DOI/Identification number: 10.1093/oso/9780192863485.003.0010
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology > BF41 Psychology and philosophy
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Q Science > Q Science (General)
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > Department of Philosophy
Depositing User: Jon Williamson
Date Deposited: 27 Feb 2024 16:19 UTC
Last Modified: 28 Feb 2024 13:01 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

  • Depositors only (login required):

Total unique views for this document in KAR since July 2020. For more details click on the image.