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D.M. (Dean) McHugh

I am a PhD student in logic at the Institute of Logic, Language and Computation (ILLC). My research concerns causal inference and is supervised by Katrin Schulz.
Faculty of Humanities
Logic and Language

Visiting address
  • Science Park 107
  • Room number: F1.11
Postal address
  • Postbus 94201
    1090 GE Amsterdam
Contact details
  • PhD Project

    My PhD project is about designing models for causal reasoning. The project uses data from philosophy, cognitive science, linguistics and logic to achieve a precise understanding of what kind of information we use when we judge that a causal relation holds.

    My research is supervised by Katrin Schulz and is situated at the University of Amsterdam's Causal Inference Lab, which is based at the Institute of Logic, Language and Computation.

    The project is called Foundations of Mechanistic Reasoning: The structure of asking 'How?' and funded by the NWO PhDs in the Humanities grant. For a light description of my project, please click here. All materials and results from the project are available open access here.

  • Causal Inference Lab

    The Causal Inference Lab is dedicated to studying causal inference using empirical and formal methods. We host a biweekly reading group where we discuss recent advances in the field—everyone with an interest in discussing causal inference is very welcome to come along. We also host talks by reserachers studying causality.

    The Causal Inference Lab brings together researchers from every faculty of the University of Amstedam (the Faculty of Humanities, the Faculty of Science, and the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences). We are based at the Institute of Logic, Language and Computation. See here for a list of current members.

    We are always happy to hear from people working on causal inference. If you would like work with us, or present your work at the Causal Inference Lab, please get in touch!

    Causal Inference Lab homepage
  • Teaching


    Causal Inference: Philosophical Theory and Modern Practice

    Teaching assistant (main instructor: Katrin Schulz), April-May 2021, Link to course catalogue

    Philosophical Logic

    Teaching assistant (main instructor: Robert van Rooij), November-December 2020, Link to course catalogue

    Topics include:

    1. Three-valued logics

    2. Vagueness

    3. Semantic paradoxes

    4. Semantics and proof theory of conditionals

    5. Probability and non-monotonic logic


    Causal Inference: Philosophical Theory and Modern Practice

    Guest lecturer (main instructor: Katrin Schulz), April-May 2020, Course catalogue

    Hypothetical Reasoning: its development and impact

    Main instrutor, January 2020, Course webpage. Four-week Master of Logic project on legal and moral applications of logic and linguistics, with a focus on hypothetical reasoning. Lectures on:

    1. Moral responsiblity
    2. Causation in the law
    3. Case study: discrimination law

    Causality and Common Sense Reasoning

    T.A. (main instructor: Robert van Rooij), November-December 2019, Course catalogue. Syllabus:

    1. Nonmonotonic logic
    2. Probablity theory
    3. Conditionals
    4. Causal models


    Causality, Decision Making and Games

    T.A. first half of course, (main instructors: Robert van Rooij & Shane Steinert-Threlkeld), November-December 2018, Course catalogue

  • Publications


    • McHugh, D. (2020). Are Causes Ever Too Strong? Downward Monotonicity in the Causal Domain. In D. Deng, F. Liu, M. Liu, & D. Westerståhl (Eds.), Monotonicity in Logic and Language: Second Tsinghua Interdisciplinary Workshop on Logic, Language and Meaning, TLLM 2020, Beijing, China, December 17-20, 2020 : proceedings (pp. 125-146). (Lecture Notes in Computer Science; Vol. 12564), (FoLLI Publications on Logic, Language and Information). Springer. [details]



    • McHugh, D. (2018). Diagrammatic Definitions of Causal Claims. In P. Chapman, G. Stapleton, A. Moktefi, S. Perez-Kriz, & F. Bellucci (Eds.), Diagrammatic Representation and Inference: 10th International Conference, Diagrams 2018, Edinburgh, UK, June 18-22, 2018 : proceedings (pp. 346-354). (Lecture Notes in Computer Science; Vol. 10871), (Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence). Cham: Springer. [details]


    • McHugh, D. M. (2019). Exclusification in conditional antecedents. Poster session presented at 3rd Crete Summer School of Linguistics, Rethimno, Greece.
    • McHugh, D. M. (2019). How to Cause the Inevitable. Poster session presented at OZSW Conference, Amsterdam, Netherlands.


    • McHugh, D. (2019). Award for Best Presentation (ESSLLI 2019 student session).
    • McHugh, D., Schulz, K. & Smets, S. J. L. (2018). NWO PhDs in the Humanities Grant (€226,000). Grant number PGW.18.028.
    • McHugh, D. (2016). Wray Travelling Scholarship (€3,175) to study MSc Logic at UvA.

    Media appearance

    Talk / presentation

    • McHugh, D. (speaker) (5-11-2021). Exhaustification in the semantics of `cause' and `because', Meaning, Language and Cognition Seminar, Amsterdam.
    • McHugh, D. (speaker) (15-4-2021). ‘Because’ lexicalizes a focus-sensitive exh operator that violates Economy, Generative Linguistics in the Old World (GLOW) 44.
    • McHugh, D. (speaker) & Cremers, A. (speaker) (26-2-2021). Negation and counterfactuals in conditional antecedents, PhD seminar on conditionals, London.
    • McHugh, D. (speaker) (29-1-2021). Newcomb's problem: an introduction to decision theory, Φ-Math Reading Group, Amsterdam.
    • McHugh, D. (speaker) (18-12-2020). Downward Left Monotonicity in the Causal Domain, Second Tsinghua Interdisciplinary Workshop on Logic, Language, and Meaning: Monotonicity in Logic and Language.
    • McHugh, D. (speaker) (23-11-2020). The Limits of Causal Graphs: Density, Charles University.
    • McHugh, D. (speaker) (9-10-2020). Causality, magic, and tense-modal interaction, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Linguistics.
    • McHugh, D. (speaker) (26-8-2020). How to Cause the Inevitable, 10th European Congress of Analytic Philosophy, Utrecht.
    • McHugh, D. (speaker) (8-5-2020). Homogeneity and domain restriction in the semantics of causal claims, Meaning, Language and Cognition Seminar, Amsterdam.
    • McHugh, D. (speaker) (5-3-2020). Causality = time + modality + effective difference-making, LIRa seminar, ILLC, University of Amsterdam.
    • McHugh, D. (speaker) (3-12-2019). Actual Causality in Dynamical Systems, Statistical Inference Workshop, Amsterdam.
    • McHugh, D. (speaker) (13-8-2019). A problem for inquisitive semantics of conditionals, European Summer School in Logic, Language and Information (ESSLLI) 2019, Riga.
    • McHugh, D. (speaker) (14-7-2019). CreteLing 2019 poster session presentation, 3rd Crete Summer School of Linguistics, Rethimno.
    • McHugh, D. (speaker) (5-4-2019). Negation and alternatives in conditional antecedents.
    • McHugh, D. (speaker), Rapp, M. (speaker) & Lisowski, G. (speaker) (2-6-2017). Winning questions: inquisitive semantics and the lottery paradox, London School of Economics and Political Science.


    • McHugh, D. (participant) (2-8-2021 - 13-8-2021). ESSLLI 2021 Student Session. Co-chair, Logic & Language track (organising a conference, workshop, ...).
    • McHugh, D. (organiser), Dekker, P. (organiser) & Schoonen, T. (organiser) (23-10-2020 - 24-10-2020). PLM Workshop on Delusion in Language and Mind, Amsterdam (organising a conference, workshop, ...).
    • McHugh, D. (member of programme committee) (11-7-2020 - 17-7-2020). ESSLLI 2020 Student Session, Waltham. Logic & Language co-chair (organising a conference, workshop, ...).
    • McHugh, D. (consultant) (25-6-2020 - 1-2-2021). External Scientific Advisor, Pacmed (consultancy).
    • McHugh, D. (participant) (21-2-2020 - 1-9-2021). Meaning, Language and Cognition Seminar, Amsterdam (participating in a conference, workshop, ...).
    • McHugh, D. (participant) (1-9-2019 - 1-9-2020). DIP-colloquium, Amsterdam. Co-organizer (organising a conference, workshop, ...).
    • McHugh, D. (participant) (1-2-2019 - 1-5-2022). Causal Inference Lab reading group, Amsterdam (organising a conference, workshop, ...).
    • McHugh, D. (participant) (2019). Amsterdam Colloquium 2019, Amsterdam (organising a conference, workshop, ...).
    • McHugh, D. (participant) (1-9-2016 - 1-6-2020). Cool Logic (seminar series for ILLC MSc students), Amsterdam. Organiser, Cool Logic seminar series ( (organising a conference, workshop, ...).


    • Izdebski, A., Thoral, P., Lalisang, R., McHugh, D. M., & Cina, G. (2021). A pragmatic approach to estimating average treatment effects from EHR data: The effect of prone positioning on mechanically ventilated COVID-19 patients.



    This list of publications is extracted from the UvA-Current Research Information System. Questions? Ask the library or the Pure staff of your faculty / institute. Log in to Pure to edit your publications. Log in to Personal Page Publication Selection tool to manage the visibility of your publications on this list.
  • Ancillary activities
    No known ancillary activities