You are here: Home / Talks & Events / Conference: Causation, Explanation, Conditionals

Conference: Causation, Explanation, Conditionals

The overarching objective of this conference is to bring together researchers working on and with conditional analyses of causation and explanation to discuss the advantages and shortcomings of their accounts. One major focus will be on the identification of genuine causes as opposed to merely spurious causes – a task the brain must execute to structure its environment and the scientist's brain must execute to establish causal explanations.
We will therefore ask questions along the following lines: “What kind of framework is best suited to understand how the brain samples sensory information to identify causal relations?” and “Are there classes of causal relations the brain cannot detect in principle?”.
Under the Bayesian Brain Hypothesis, for example, the brain efficiently uses information about uncertainty to guide action in the world by encoding sensory information in the form of probability distributions. Understood as such a statistical prediction machine, the brain infers the causes of sensory information it received. However, Bayesian models still face statistical problems pertaining to causation as exemplified by the problem that despite their correlation, two events may not be cause and effect, but rather be two effects of a common cause.
Neural Networks, for instance, give rise to the problem of overdetermining causes, which occurs when a single observed effect (the excitation of a neuron) is determined by multiple causes (sets of firing neurons), each of which alone would be sufficient to bring about the effect.
We invite submissions using any kind of formal framework, e.g. probability theory, Bayesian networks, structural equations, ranking functions, possible worlds semantics. GSN students are especially encouraged to participate.

More details including call for papers and programme can be found here.

Speakers include

Jake Chandler (La Trobe University)
Stefan Glasauer (LMU Munich/GSN)
Joe Halpern (Cornell University)
Stephan Hartmann (LMU Munich/MCMP)
Franz Huber (University of Toronto)
Karolina Krzyżanowska (LMU Munich/MCMP)
William Penny (UCL)
Hans Rott (University of Regensburg)
Katrin Schulz (University of Amsterdam)
Gerhard Schurz (University of Düsseldorf)
Wolfgang Spohn (University of Konstanz)
Michael Wibral (Goethe University Frankfurt)

June 21-23, 2017

Evangelische Akademie Tutzing

Holger Andreas (University of British Columbia)
Mario Günther
Kay Thurley (BCCN Munich)

For questions about the conference, please contact Mario Günther:

Bernstein Zentrum München (BCCN)

Graduate School of Systemic Neurosciences (GSN)
Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy (MCMP)

Registration fees per person
Registration only (incl. lunch, dinner and coffee breaks): 120 €
+ accommodation in single room (incl. breakfast), June 21-22: +90,50 € or 94,50 €
+ accommodation in double room (incl. breakfast), June 21-22: +70,50 € or 74,50 €

For registration, please contact Kay Thurley: