Is there a philosophical position for and against the idea that every causal entity can in principle contribute to every effect?

So do some e.g. physical explanations claim that entities of type X can make no difference to what happens, cannot figure in the explanation, perhaps because of their size or location?

An example of a "why" question hat limits its own scope could be ones that ask about moral responsibility. Many people would say that these should hold independent of e.g. gender, and the fact that I'm male gives me no more rights or responsibilities toward your property. Is there something similar for physical explanations?

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    That was the standard position in classical physics. Everything in the universe is part of the "initial conditions", and hence "contributes" to determining its future state, at least theoretically. The causal influence is limited in relativity by the speed of light, spacelike separated events can not affect each other. Many believe that abstract entities are causally inert altogether. The analogy to moral responsibilities is highly obscure: how is physical "is" analogous to moral "should"? – Conifold Feb 22 '19 at 21:19
  • because they are both "why" questions... can you flesh that out into an answer, @Conifold fwiw i don't think abstract entities are real – user35983 Feb 22 '19 at 22:14
  • actually, i suppose there's no real reason to add anything to the comment @Conifold – user35983 Feb 22 '19 at 22:35

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