Jonathan M. Livengood F'10

Jonathan M. Livengood
Assistant Professor
Philosophy
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships 2010
Doctoral Candidate
History and Philosophy of Science
University of Pittsburgh
On Causal Inferences in the Sciences and Humanities

In the twentieth-century, statisticians, econometricians, computer scientists, and philosophers developed the formalism of structural equation models to quantitatively describe causal structures for the purpose of predicting the results of implementing new policies or taking new actions in a given context. Recently, philosophers have been trying to adapt the formalism of structural equation models to identify the causes of a given effect. This dissertation makes contributions to both fields of research. It proposes and solves a causal inference problem characteristic of many social and medical sciences, and considers the prospects for adapting the formalism of structural equation models to produce a theory of cause-identification characteristic of history, ethics, law, and diagnostics.