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Statistics and causal inference (with discussion). (English) Zbl 0607.62001
The reluctance of statisticians generally to comment on causality prompts the author in this paper to take a careful look at what statistics in fact has to offer in this respect. It is claimed that statistics ought to play a more significant role in philosophical analyses of causation than it has hitherto, and it is also asserted that the statistical models used to draw causal inferences are in fact markedly different from those pertinent to associational inferences. Some special cases of causal inference are studied, and comments from some philosophers and statisticians adduced, together with some remarks on causation in medicine, economics, and causal modelling.
Reviewer: A.Dale

MSC:
62A01Foundations and philosophical topics in statistics
03A05Philosophical and critical