5 References added.
source | link

I can't see that the hammer is the cause of anything here. This is not merely because it is an inert object; an inert object can be part of a causal chain of objects and events. Rather, it is not here the cause of the broken window (or of the window's breaking) since it enters into a causal relationship with the window only when you decide and act to break the window by using the hammer. Because you break the window by using the hammer, you are the cause. The hammer only features in a description of your causal action : 'X broke the window by using the hammer'.

To spell out in a bit more detail ...

Direct causation

You are the direct cause of the broken window, since you broke the window by using the hammer; you directly caused E, the broken (or the breaking of the) window, because there were no casually intermediary events between your wielding the hammer and the effect on the window.

Indirect causation

In indirect causation there is and must be such casually intermediary events. An intervening causal chain carries your causal influence to E, causes E as an eventual effect. An example of indirect causation would be (for instance) your holding the hammer, walking, slipping on the grass, the hammer flying from your hand, hitting a tree and bouncing from the tree to the window, and breaking the window.

I do not know what the legal analysis of the situation would be, but this is a philosophy site and I answer in line with my philosophical understanding of the concept of causation.

My handling of the broken window example readily transfers to that of the baseball bat. The same logic applies.

ReferenceReferences

Douglas Ehring, 'Preemption, Direct Causation, and Identity'Stanford, Synthesea world-class university, Volhas a large number of philosophy sites of high quality. 85, NoThese may be your best online source. 1

https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/causation-metaphysics/

https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/causation-counterfactual/

https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/mental-causation/ (Oct

https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/causation-probabilistic/

https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/determinism-causal/

Here are the most useful Stanford sites., 1990) Mental causation is not immediately relevant, ppso you might want to skip it. 55Ignore 'plato' in the titles -70 this is simply Stanford's standard heading in this area and I think in philosophy generally. You will not be given a dose of Platonism.

I can't see that the hammer is the cause of anything here. This is not merely because it is an inert object; an inert object can be part of a causal chain of objects and events. Rather, it is not here the cause of the broken window (or of the window's breaking) since it enters into a causal relationship with the window only when you decide and act to break the window by using the hammer. Because you break the window by using the hammer, you are the cause. The hammer only features in a description of your causal action : 'X broke the window by using the hammer'.

To spell out in a bit more detail ...

Direct causation

You are the direct cause of the broken window, since you broke the window by using the hammer; you directly caused E, the broken (or the breaking of the) window, because there were no casually intermediary events between your wielding the hammer and the effect on the window.

Indirect causation

In indirect causation there is and must be such casually intermediary events. An intervening causal chain carries your causal influence to E, causes E as an eventual effect. An example of indirect causation would be (for instance) your holding the hammer, walking, slipping on the grass, the hammer flying from your hand, hitting a tree and bouncing from the tree to the window, and breaking the window.

I do not know what the legal analysis of the situation would be, but this is a philosophy site and I answer in line with my philosophical understanding of the concept of causation.

My handling of the broken window example readily transfers to that of the baseball bat. The same logic applies.

Reference

Douglas Ehring, 'Preemption, Direct Causation, and Identity', Synthese, Vol. 85, No. 1 (Oct., 1990), pp. 55-70.

I can't see that the hammer is the cause of anything here. This is not merely because it is an inert object; an inert object can be part of a causal chain of objects and events. Rather, it is not here the cause of the broken window (or of the window's breaking) since it enters into a causal relationship with the window only when you decide and act to break the window by using the hammer. Because you break the window by using the hammer, you are the cause. The hammer only features in a description of your causal action : 'X broke the window by using the hammer'.

To spell out in a bit more detail ...

Direct causation

You are the direct cause of the broken window, since you broke the window by using the hammer; you directly caused E, the broken (or the breaking of the) window, because there were no casually intermediary events between your wielding the hammer and the effect on the window.

Indirect causation

In indirect causation there is and must be such casually intermediary events. An intervening causal chain carries your causal influence to E, causes E as an eventual effect. An example of indirect causation would be (for instance) your holding the hammer, walking, slipping on the grass, the hammer flying from your hand, hitting a tree and bouncing from the tree to the window, and breaking the window.

I do not know what the legal analysis of the situation would be, but this is a philosophy site and I answer in line with my philosophical understanding of the concept of causation.

My handling of the broken window example readily transfers to that of the baseball bat. The same logic applies.

References

Stanford, a world-class university, has a large number of philosophy sites of high quality. These may be your best online source.

https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/causation-metaphysics/

https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/causation-counterfactual/

https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/mental-causation/

https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/causation-probabilistic/

https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/determinism-causal/

Here are the most useful Stanford sites. Mental causation is not immediately relevant, so you might want to skip it. Ignore 'plato' in the titles - this is simply Stanford's standard heading in this area and I think in philosophy generally. You will not be given a dose of Platonism.

4 Text added for clarification.
source | link

I can't see that the hammer is the cause of anything here. This is not merely because it is an inert object; an inert object can be part of a causal chain of objects and events. Rather, it is not here the cause of the broken window (or of the window's breaking) since it enters into a causal relationship with the window only when you decide and act to break the window by using the hammer. Because you break the window by using the hammer, you are the cause. The hammer only features in a description of your causal action : 'X broke the window by using the hammer'.

To spell out in a bit more detail ...

Direct causation

You are the direct cause of the broken window, since you broke the window by using the hammer; you directly caused E, the broken (or the breaking of the) window, because there were no casually intermediary events between your wielding the hammer and the effect on the window.

Indirect causation

In indirect causation there is and must be such casually intermediary events. An intervening causal chain carries your causal influence to E, causes E as an eventual effect. An example of indirect causation would be (for instance) your holding the hammer, walking, slipping on the grass, the hammer flying from your hand, hitting a tree and bouncing from the tree to the window, and breaking the window.

I do not know what the legal analysis of the situation would be, but this is a philosophy site and I answer in line with my philosophical understanding of the concept of causation.

My handling of the broken window example readily transfers to that of the baseball bat. The same logic applies.

Reference

Douglas Ehring, 'Preemption, Direct Causation, and Identity', Synthese, Vol. 85, No. 1 (Oct., 1990), pp. 55-70.

I can't see that the hammer is the cause of anything here. This is not merely because it is an inert object; an inert object can be part of a causal chain of objects and events. Rather, it is not here the cause of the broken window (or of the window's breaking) since it enters into a causal relationship with the window only when you decide and act to break the window by using the hammer. Because you break the window by using the hammer, you are the cause. The hammer only features in a description of your causal action : 'X broke the window by using the hammer'.

To spell out in a bit more detail ...

Direct causation

You are the direct cause of the broken window, since you broke the window by using the hammer; you directly caused E, the broken (or the breaking of the) window, because there were no casually intermediary events between your wielding the hammer and the effect on the window.

Indirect causation

In indirect causation there is and must be such casually intermediary events. An intervening causal chain carries your causal influence to E, causes E as an eventual effect. An example of indirect causation would be (for instance) your holding the hammer, walking, slipping on the grass, the hammer flying from your hand, hitting a tree and bouncing from the tree to the window, and breaking the window.

I do not know what the legal analysis of the situation would be, but this is a philosophy site and I answer in line with my philosophical understanding of the concept of causation.

Reference

Douglas Ehring, 'Preemption, Direct Causation, and Identity', Synthese, Vol. 85, No. 1 (Oct., 1990), pp. 55-70.

I can't see that the hammer is the cause of anything here. This is not merely because it is an inert object; an inert object can be part of a causal chain of objects and events. Rather, it is not here the cause of the broken window (or of the window's breaking) since it enters into a causal relationship with the window only when you decide and act to break the window by using the hammer. Because you break the window by using the hammer, you are the cause. The hammer only features in a description of your causal action : 'X broke the window by using the hammer'.

To spell out in a bit more detail ...

Direct causation

You are the direct cause of the broken window, since you broke the window by using the hammer; you directly caused E, the broken (or the breaking of the) window, because there were no casually intermediary events between your wielding the hammer and the effect on the window.

Indirect causation

In indirect causation there is and must be such casually intermediary events. An intervening causal chain carries your causal influence to E, causes E as an eventual effect. An example of indirect causation would be (for instance) your holding the hammer, walking, slipping on the grass, the hammer flying from your hand, hitting a tree and bouncing from the tree to the window, and breaking the window.

I do not know what the legal analysis of the situation would be, but this is a philosophy site and I answer in line with my philosophical understanding of the concept of causation.

My handling of the broken window example readily transfers to that of the baseball bat. The same logic applies.

Reference

Douglas Ehring, 'Preemption, Direct Causation, and Identity', Synthese, Vol. 85, No. 1 (Oct., 1990), pp. 55-70.

3 Text added for clarification.
source | link

I can't see that the hammer is the cause of anything here. ItThis is not merely because it is an inert object; an inert object can be part of a causal chain of objects and events. ItRather, it is not here the cause of the broken window (or of the window's breaking) since it enters into a causal relationship with the window only when youyou decide and act to break the window by using the hammer. Because you break the window by using the hammer, you are the cause. The hammer only features in a description of your causal action : 'X broke the window by using the hammer'.

To spell out in a bit more detail ...

Direct causation

You are the direct cause of the broken window, since you broke the window by using the hammer; you directly caused E, the broken (or the breaking of) the) window, because there were no casually intermediary events between your wielding the hammer and the effect on the window.

Indirect causation

In indirect causation there is and must be such casually intermediary events. An intervening causal chain carries your causal influence to E, causes E as an eventual effect. An example of indirect causation would be (for instance) your holding the hammer, walking, slipping on the grass, the hammer flying from your hand, hitting a tree and bouncing from the tree to the window, and breaking the window.

I do not know what the legal analysis of the situation would be, but this is a philosophy site and I answer in line with my philosophical understanding of the concept of causation.

Reference

Douglas Ehring, 'Preemption, Direct Causation, and Identity', Synthese, Vol. 85, No. 1 (Oct., 1990), pp. 55-70.

I can't see that the hammer is the cause of anything. It is merely an inert object. It enters into a causal relationship with the window only when you decide and act to break the window by using the hammer.

Direct causation

You are the direct cause of the broken window, since you broke the window by using the hammer; you directly caused E, the broken (or the breaking of) the window, because there were no casually intermediary events between your wielding the hammer and the effect on the window.

Indirect causation

In indirect causation there is and must be such casually intermediary events. An intervening causal chain carries your causal influence to E, causes E as an eventual effect. An example of indirect causation would be (for instance) your holding the hammer, walking, slipping on the grass, the hammer flying from your hand, hitting a tree and bouncing from the tree to the window, and breaking the window.

I do not know what the legal analysis of the situation would be, but this is a philosophy site and I answer in line with my philosophical understanding of the concept of causation.

Reference

Douglas Ehring, 'Preemption, Direct Causation, and Identity', Synthese, Vol. 85, No. 1 (Oct., 1990), pp. 55-70.

I can't see that the hammer is the cause of anything here. This is not merely because it is an inert object; an inert object can be part of a causal chain of objects and events. Rather, it is not here the cause of the broken window (or of the window's breaking) since it enters into a causal relationship with the window only when you decide and act to break the window by using the hammer. Because you break the window by using the hammer, you are the cause. The hammer only features in a description of your causal action : 'X broke the window by using the hammer'.

To spell out in a bit more detail ...

Direct causation

You are the direct cause of the broken window, since you broke the window by using the hammer; you directly caused E, the broken (or the breaking of the) window, because there were no casually intermediary events between your wielding the hammer and the effect on the window.

Indirect causation

In indirect causation there is and must be such casually intermediary events. An intervening causal chain carries your causal influence to E, causes E as an eventual effect. An example of indirect causation would be (for instance) your holding the hammer, walking, slipping on the grass, the hammer flying from your hand, hitting a tree and bouncing from the tree to the window, and breaking the window.

I do not know what the legal analysis of the situation would be, but this is a philosophy site and I answer in line with my philosophical understanding of the concept of causation.

Reference

Douglas Ehring, 'Preemption, Direct Causation, and Identity', Synthese, Vol. 85, No. 1 (Oct., 1990), pp. 55-70.

2 Text added for clarification.
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