Variation of information as a measure of one-to-one causal specificity

Pierrick Bourrat*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


The interventionist account provides us with several notions permitting the qualification of causal relationships. In recent years, there has been a push toward formalizing these notions using information theory. In this paper, I discuss one of them, namely causal specificity. The notion of causal specificity is ambiguous as it can refer to at least two different concepts. After having presented these, I show that current attempts to formalize causal specificity in information theoretic terms have mostly focused on one of these two concepts. I then propose and apply a new information-theoretic measure which captures the other concept.

Original languageEnglish
Article number11
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalEuropean Journal for Philosophy of Science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2019


  • Causal specificity
  • Causation
  • Information theory
  • Interventionist account


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