Curie's principle and causal graphs

Stud Hist Philos Sci. 2021 Jun:87:22-27. doi: 10.1016/j.shpsa.2021.02.007. Epub 2021 Mar 5.


Curie's Principle says that any symmetry property of a cause must be found in its effect. In this article, I consider Curie's Principle from the point of view of graphical causal models, and demonstrate that, under one definition of a symmetry transformation, the causal modeling framework does not require anything like Curie's Principle to be true. On another definition of a symmetry transformation, the graphical causal modeling formalism does imply a version of Curie's Principle. These results yield a better understanding of the logical landscape with respect to the relationship between Curie's Principle and graphical causal modeling.

Keywords: Causal graphs; Causation; Curie’s Principle; Markov condition; Symmetry.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Models, Theoretical*