LIRa session: Alexandru Baltag


Speaker: Alexandru Baltag (ILLC, University of Amsterdam)

Date and Time: Thursday, October 12th 2023, 16:30-18:00

Venue: ILLC seminar room F1.15 in Science Park 107 and online

Title: The Dynamic Logic of Causality: from counterfactual dependence to causal interventions

Abstract. Pearl’s causal models have become the standard/dominant approach to representing and reasoning about causality. The setting is based on the static notion of causal graphs, but it also makes an essential use of the dynamic notion of causal interventions. In particular, Halpern and Pearl used this setting to define and investigate various notions of actual causality.
As noted by many, causal interventions have an obvious counterfactual flavour. But… their relationship with the counterfactual conditionals (a la Lewis-Stalnaker) has remained murky! A lot of confusion surrounds this topic.

The purpose of this talk is threefold:
1. understand interventions as dynamic modalities (rather than conditionals);
2. elucidate the relationship between intervention modalities and counterfactual conditionals;
3. formalize and completely axiomatize a Causal Intervention Calculus (CIC), that is general enough to allow us to capture both interventions and causal conditionals, but also expressive enough to capture the various notions of actual causality proposed in the literature.