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Title: Causal reasoning and Meno’s paradox
Authors: Chen, Melvin
Chew, Lock Yue
Keywords: Humanities::Philosophy
Issue Date: 2020
Source: Chen, M. & Chew, L. Y. (2020). Causal reasoning and Meno’s paradox. AI and Society.
Project: NTU–ACE2018-05
Journal: AI and Society
Abstract: Causal reasoning is an aspect of learning, reasoning, and decision-making that involves the cognitive ability to discover relationships between causal relata, learn and understand these causal relationships, and make use of this causal knowledge in prediction, explanation, decision-making, and reasoning in terms of counterfactuals. Can we fully automate causal reasoning? One might feel inclined, on the basis of certain groundbreaking advances in causal epistemology, to reply in the affirmative. The aim of this paper is to demonstrate that one still has good skeptical grounds for resisting any conclusions in favour of the automation of causal reasoning. If by causal reasoning is meant the entirety of the process through which we discover causal relationships and make use of this knowledge in prediction, explanation, decision-making, and reasoning in terms of counterfactuals, then one relies besides on tacit knowledge, as might be constituted by or derived from the epistemic faculty virtues and abilities of the causal reasoner, the value systems and character traits of the causal reasoner, the implicit knowledge base available to the causal reasoner, and the habits that sustain our causal reasoning practices. While certain aspects of causal reasoning may be axiomatized and formalized and algorithms may be implemented to approximate causal reasoning, one has to remain skeptical about whether causal reasoning may be fully automated. This demonstration will involve an engagement with Meno’s Paradox.
ISSN: 0951-5666
DOI: 10.1007/s00146-020-01037-4
Schools: School of Humanities 
School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences 
Rights: © 2020 The Authors. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit
Fulltext Permission: open
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
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