In the middle of the UvA protest, of a flu, and of an intensive semester filled with teaching, I escaped to beautiful Venice — the Amsterdam of the South ! — to talk about various things, among which causality, modelling, and computer science.
I delivered the first lecture at the Department of Management of Ca’ Foscari. The talk is based on some joint work done with my friend and colleague Alessio Moneta. The idea of drawing a conceptual distinction between associational models and causal models is useful, we think, to improve on our modelling practices. However, in practice, the two are not so much separated.
The second lecture was part of Eleonora Montuschi‘s course Philosophy of the Social Sciences. She had asked me to give a presentation on causality. As usual, the big challenge is to give a sense of the beautiful complexity of the causality debate without scare people! I decided to focus on selected methodological and epistemological issues so that it would be a ‘natural’ follow up of the previous lecture.
The last day I took part in a workshop organised by Marcello Pelillo: Philosophical Aspects of Computer Science. We gather together to brainstorm about various ideas, approaches, questions, etc related to computer science and that we tackle in our own research. I have to admit that computer science does not exactly fall into my own area of expertise, and yet I discovered that I had a lot in common with them, and certainly many overlapping interests!