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Causal Fallacies

Course video 18 of 29

<p><b>CONTENT</b>: This module will focus on how to decide what causes what. Students will learn how to distinguish necessary conditions from sufficient conditions and how to use data to test hypotheses about what is and what is not a necessary condition or a sufficient condition. Then we will distinguish causation from correlation (or concomitant variation) and explain the fallacy of post hoc ergo propter hoc. It is sad that some diners had to die to make this lesson possible, as you will see.</p> <p><b>LEARNING OUTCOMES</b>: By the end of this week’s material you will be able to do: <ul> <li> analyze causal reasoning</li> <li>distinguish necessary from sufficient conditions</li> <li>determine what is necessary or sufficient for what</li> <li>separate causation from correlation</li> </ul> </p> <p><b>OPTIONAL READING</b>: If you want more examples or more detailed discussions of these topics, we recommend <em>Understanding Arguments, Ninth Edition</em>, Chapter 10.</p>

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