There is a need for integrated thinking about causality, probability and mechanisms in scientific methodology. Causality and probability are long-established central concepts in the sciences, with a corresponding philosophical literature examining their problems. On the other hand, the philosophical literature examining mechanisms is not long-established, and there is no clear idea of how mechanisms relate to causality and probability. But we need some idea if weare to understand causal inference in the sciences: a panoply of disciplines, ranging from epidemiology to biology, from econometrics to physics, routinely make use of probability, statistics, theory and mechanisms to infer causal relationships. These disciplines have developed very different methods, where causality and probability often seem to have different understandings, and where the mechanisms involved often look very different. This variegated situation raises the question of whether the different sciences are really using different concepts, or whether progress in understanding the tools of causal inference in some sciences can lead to progress in other sciences. The book tackles these questions as well as others concerningthe use of causality in the sciences.
Scientific and philosophical literature on causality has become highly specialised. It is hard to find suitable access points for students, young researchers, or professionals outside this domain. This book provides a guide to the complex literature, explains the scientific problems of causality and the philosophical tools needed to address them.
This work fulfills the need for a conceptual and technical framework to improve understanding of Information Quality (IQ) and Information Quality standards. The meaning and practical implementation of IQ are addressed, as it is relevant to any field where there is a need to handle data and issues such as accessibility, accuracy, completeness, currency, integrity, reliability, timeliness, usability, the role of metrics and so forth are all a part of Information Quality.In order to support the cross-fertilization of theory and practice, the latest research is presented in this book. The perspectives of experts from beyond the origins of IQ in computer science are included: library and information science practitioners and academics, philosophers of information, of engineering and technology, and of science are all contributors to this volume.The chapters in this volume are based on the work of a collaborative research project involving the Arts and Humanities Research Council and Google and led by Professor Luciano Floridi, University of Oxford.This work will be of interest to anyone handling data, including those from commercial, public, governmental and academic organizations. The expert editors' contributions introduce issues of interest to scientists, database curators and philosophers, even though the issues may be disguised in the language and examples common to a different discipline.