We stroll through the history of causal thought in medicine (and science) and entertain an alternative approach that is getting some traction in physics: top-down causation.
Medicine (and science) used to believe that something happened because of an enormous amount of causes pilled together. This hollistic approach gave way to the simplifying and reductionistic view of nature that made science so successful. Now, this reductionist approach has reached some limitations in many areas of physics and Christopher Jargocki attempts to explain a way of thinking about cause and effect: the whole system determines the parts. This new approach is called top-down causation and it’s very exciting.
Contributors to this episode (and others related to Causation) are found here.
Why can’t you predict the weather in a few days in advance? In this short, we explore the fundamental unknowable nature of chaotic systems. Then we hear a song of weather data that lets us grapple with chaos in an aural way.
Cause and effect seems so easy to grasp but is often slippery when we think about it in detail. In this show, we hang to the slippery topic and ask these questions: Which level is the right level of causal explanation? How does probability figure into cause and effect? How does cause fit into how the rest of the world is set up?
Philosophers and scientists explain how the notion of cause and effect is a primitive notion in infants. We consider why this makes evolutionary sense and then turn our focus toward neuroscience and education, where new causal thinking is making an impact.