Causation in Scientific Reasoning

Enno Fischer

My research project deals with the role of causation in scientific reasoning with particular regard to physics. Whereas causal statements appear to play a minor role in our well established physical theories, they are central to any kind of experimental practice that leads to establishing such theories. In particular, I am interested in the following questions: Which philosophical accounts of causation are adequate in the context of scientific reasoning? How do scientists establish causal statements? To what degree do causal assumptions depend on tacit assumptions? Can we elucidate the role of tacit knowledge in scientific practice by looking at causal reasoning?
One general motivation for this project is to bridge the gap between the cognitive dimension of the sciences and their material culture as instantiated by experimental practice. This shall be pursued by reference to debates on causation which have seen considerable sophistication in recent years.