James Woodward

  • Distinguished Professor • Placement Director

Before coming to Pittsburgh in the fall of 2010, I was J.O. and Juliette Koepfli Professor of Humanities at the California Institute of Technology. My research covers a number of different areas, including theories of causation, explanation and inductive inference in general philosophy of science, philosophy of psychology, and philosophy of social science. My interests in psychology include the empirical psychology of causal learning and judgment; in this connection I am a participant in a multidisciplinary collaboration sponsored by the McDonnell foundation which explores the relation between formal theories of causal inference and the inferences adults and children actually make. I also maintain an interest in moral psychology and the empirical study of human behavior in morally significant situations.

Professional Memberships/Offices

President-Elect, Philosophy of Science Association

Education & Training

  • PhD, University of Texas, 1977

Representative Publications

Making Things Happen: A Theory of Causal Explanation. 2003. Oxford University Press (Lakatos Award winner, 2005).

“Sensitive and Insensitive Causation”. 2006. The Philosophical Review 115: 1-50.

“Interventionist Theories of Causation in Psychological Perspective”. 2007. In Gopnik and Schulz (eds.) Causal Learning: Psychology, Philosophy and Computation:19-36.

“Moral Intuition: Its Neural Substrates and Normative Significance” (Co-authored with John Allman). 2007. Journal of Physiology - Paris 101: 179–202.

“Mental Causation and Neural Mechanisms”. 2008. In Hohwy and Kallestrup, eds. Being Reduced: New Essays on Reduction, Explanation, and Causation: 218-262.

“Just do it? Just do it? Investigating the Gap between Prediction and Action in Toddlers' Causal Inferences” (Co-authored with Bonawitz et al.). 2010. Cognition 115: 104-117.

“Causation in Biology: Stability, Specificity, and the Choice of Levels of Explanation”. 2010. Biology and Philosophy 25: 287-318.

“The Structure and Dynamics of Scientific Theories: A Hierarchical Bayesian Perspective” (Co-authored with Henderson et al.). 2010. Philosophy of Science 77: 172-200.

“Data and Phenomena: A Restatement and a Defense”. Forthcoming in Synthese.

Causal Perception and Causal Understanding”. Forthcoming in Roessler (ed.) Causation, Perception, and Objectivity: Issues in Philosophy and Psychology. Oxford University Press.