Questions tagged [causality]

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107 views

Does the reversibility of laws of physics prove that causality doesn't exist?

Does the fact that the fundamental laws are symmetric with respect to direction of time show that causation does not exist? Since causality always requires the cause to precede the effect, but laws of ...
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1answer
118 views

How do Thomists justify “same causes in the same circumstances produce always the same effects.” in light of Quantum Mechanics?

One of the Scholastic axioms says: 7.7 The same causes in the same circumstances produce always the same effects. How do Thomists justify that axiom when in Quantum Mechanics we see a different ...
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Does it make sense to have a causal component in a definition?

I am trying to respond to a comment from a reviewer, where he/she suggests that there might be definitions which have a causal component. Suppose I have the following totally made up definition (...
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1answer
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How are 'voluntary' actions possible in the scope of Sam Harris's framework of free will (its absence actually)?

Disclamer: I am striving to understand the point of view, not to examine if it is right or wrong (makes sense or not, etc.). I have listened to two audio excerpts by Sam Harris, discussing his views ...
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What does it mean for a process that at least one of its causal factors lie in the future?

In general, a process has many causes, which are said to be causal factors for it, and all lie in its past (more precise: none lie in its future). What does it mean for a process that at least one ...
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1answer
70 views

Does a material cause either depend on its effect or appear to be somehow self-sufficient?

Does a material cause either depend on its effect or appear to be somehow self suffiient? Aristotle considers the material "cause" (hyle) of an object as equivalent to the nature of the raw ...
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Explain kant's conception of causality as an a priori category prescribed by the understanding to all possible objects of experience?

How does causality relate to the a priori and experience? I am having trouble connecting the dots. Any help would be great!
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1answer
56 views

How does Hume's conception of impressions and ideas lead him to argue that causality can only be probabilistic?

I am trying to understand this concept and it just isn't clicking. Any help would be appreciated!
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1answer
93 views

Can causally unconnected things become causally connected?

Things have properties and what it means by being in a causal connection is one object's property/properties determines the property/properties of the other object with which the first object ...
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1answer
50 views

Is information causal?

I am coming to this question in response to scepticism about emergentism as more than an overlay (eg. SEP article). Entropy is well established as related to relative information about systems, and ...
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5answers
2k views

If we imagine a world that functions without causality, how absurd could it be?

If we assume that there's a universe that is devoid of causality, and if we assume that it isn't eternally static, would that mean that everything can happen because there are no reasons inhibiting ...
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7answers
184 views

How are the actions of conscious beings interpreted in terms of cause and effect?

When there's inanimate objects such as two billiard balls, we determine that ball C is the cause of Ball D's movement if C collides with D and shoves it. In addition, because ball C is an inanimate ...
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4answers
138 views

If I use an object to produce an effect, am I the direct or the indirect cause of the effect?

People appeared to approach this question as if it were about whether I can be held liable for the action of breaking a window (the main example). However, this question has nothing to do with law; ...
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2answers
310 views

Is causality a type of necessary and sufficient condition?

Does 'A caused B' mean that A is a necessary and sufficient condition for B? Imagine that we go to a shop and buy two items with a total cost 40 dollars (30 for 1st item and 10 for the 2nd). Is the ...
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3answers
181 views

Causality: is it possible for one attribute to be found in one node but not the others before it?

This is a rather basic question about causality, but I'm a bit confused over it (especially in terms of the "first cause" argument). Causality (from Wikipedia): Agency or efficacy that connects ...
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5answers
612 views

I can't see how free will exists in a universe that's only causal or random, can I be convinced otherwise?

From what I've looked into on the topic of free will, I've found it difficult to see how it could exist in a universe of pure causality or randomness. However, I haven't fully abandoned the idea of ...
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3answers
171 views

How do we obtain scientific knowledge

I have seen some posts about knowledge but want to explore another perspective. Here is the sort of thing I thought, maybe you can help with a complete answer or at least give some recommendation. ...
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1answer
62 views

Does explanation matter in philosophy?

In everyday life people supposedly have a reason for acting in a certain way, or when under scrutiny, they can-to a certain degree-attribute certain actions as intended components to a process that ...
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1answer
61 views

What should be first according to Aristotle: the nature of being or the nature of explanation?

I see that in his Metaphysics he starts speaking of the nature of explanation as if he thinks, I think, that it is key to be understood before moving to the investigation about being. But then, in his ...
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Causality as a product of creation

Got a short quest if creation gives rise to time and the world. Our perception allows observation of that world and we interpret events within it as a result of which we describe as causality. Action ...
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2answers
114 views

Why is Hume struggling to reconcile causality with his notion of what is knowable?

This is a follow-up on my earlier question. Regarding causality as involving "a necessary connection between cause and effect" In what sense was Hume struggling to reconcile the "necessity' with his ...
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1answer
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Aristotle on the impossibility of the indivisibility - Aristotle's physics book I

I'm having trouble with the following part of Aristotle's physics (185b17-185b18): But to proceed: If their One is one as indivisible, nothing will have quantity or quality, and so what exists ...
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1answer
59 views

Is this statement about causality a fair representation of Hume's view?

Would it be accurate to say that according to Hume causality is another way to describe the (relative) permanence of steps in causal chains of events? If this is not the case, what would be considered ...
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345 views

Is it possible to have truth if objective randomness exists?

I will do my best to describe both of my terms as clearly as possible. I would describe true randomness as a process that has absolutely no predictability : even if you knew absolutely everything you ...
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1answer
46 views

Can the immediate effect of a cause be considered a part of the cause? If not, why?

I was wondering whether heat from a fire can be considered part of the fire (heat will definitely exist merely in the presence of fire)? Or, whether sunlight can be considered part of the sun (...
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1answer
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Aristotle's middle point between teleological eliminativists and teleological intentionalists

I'm reading an introduction to Aristotle's theory of causation, Aristotle by Christopher Shields, and I understand that he says that Aristotle's view of final causes is between teleological ...
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2answers
54 views

Aristotle notion of action in his physics?

I do not understand the notion of action in the following paragraph (Phys. 199a9–20): As things are in action, so they are in nature; and as they are in nature, so they are in action, so long as ...
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81 views

Book or article recommendation about causality and counterfactuals

I'd like to assign social science undergraduate students an article, short part of a book, or even a blog post about causality and counterfactual logic that is easy to understand. It seems that most ...
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0answers
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How does Hume justify his account of the origin of causation to a general sense?

Hume's account of causation explains why we think specific things have causes and explains them in terms of their constant connection in our minds such that we associate them by "habit". Hume brings ...
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0answers
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causality violation

Any of you have ever analyzed causality violation: anti-arguments are obvious but I am asking for kind a strong support of this odd logic. For example: If you don't think or do something today, your ...
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1answer
341 views

Spinoza and causality

Spinoza puts causality above freedom. As a follower of Descartes and a rationalist, in the understanding of everything he goes from simple to complex, from subject to objects. In order to understand ...
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0answers
549 views

What does Kant think about a priori concepts of causality?

This is an excerpt from Critique of Pure Reason, B13: Take the proposition: "Everything that happens has its cause." In the concept of something that happens, I think, to be sure, of an ...
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1answer
204 views

Question about Leibniz' view on monads and causality

I have a question about this video regarding Leibniz, monads and interaction: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SxGuoyxyKMA&t=56s at 33:27. On the one hand, Anthony Quinton says that a monad has ...
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3answers
666 views

When is causality false?

If we say that A causes B, when will this be false? Had it not been A, it would not have been B. Is it only false in the case when it is not A, but is B?
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Resolving the divide between logic and emotion, and their presence in causality

I've always questioned the dissension between logic and emotion. Whether it is right to disassociate emotion as this is seemingly logical, or promote the wellness of emotion. I'm, whether wise or ...
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Broad Observations of Agnosticism

So thinking about agnosticism, where one believes only that they are ignorant of god, or any preceding entities behind causality, as I interpret it. I had the question of: "what causes the belief ...
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5answers
895 views

Why can there only be one necessary being, as opposed to two or thirty seven?

I was reading about apologetics the other day and read as part of the causal argument for God's existence that there cannot be more than one necessary being (cause), meaning that there is only one God,...
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Is there any reason to think that time is necessarily flowing “forwards” rather than backwards, or another direction completely? [closed]

If we accept that our perception of the world and the actual objective truth of the world in itself are disjoint - that we cannot know certain (or perhaps any) truths about the world - then we ...
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1answer
542 views

How is Hume's criticism of causality tied to his epistemological presuppositions? What responses can be offered by challenging them?

Hume once criticized the principle of causality, claiming that the causal connection between two objects was a projection of the mind. To what extent is Hume's criticism of causality linked to his ...
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375 views

Cause and effect

A standard argument for the existence of God is the Kalam Cosmological Argument. The first premise of this argument is that if something begins to exist then it must have a cause. My question is this. ...
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Kant and causality as custom

According to Hume, causality cannot be found in "things themselves", nor can it be empirically accessible. Instead, it is we, the observers, who attach causal relations among things merely because we ...
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Has anyone described what the universe must be like for agent-caused free will to be possible? [duplicate]

Let's define free will as the ability for a human being to make a choice that does not completely depend on the history of the universe. The universe may be assumed to be indeterministic. Any simple ...
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509 views

Can a thing have more than one final cause?

I have not been able to find anything on the Internet that answers this question. I also haven't been able to think of anything that has more than one final cause, as defined by Aristotle. For ...
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What philosophers, other than Schopenhauer and Nietzsche, examine “will” first, before “free will”?

It seems to me that talk about free will is premature, until 'will' itself has been examined. As Hume noted, we don't have any direct experience of "causality"... two events follow each other and we ...
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What is the “Law of Causality”?

Is there a Law of Causality? Or a principle of Causality? Someone used that in an argument with me and I couldn't find much information on the subject. Thank you in advance.
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What kind of fallacy attributes cause to chance when the cause is unknown?

What kind of fallacy is it if one attributes a cause to chance when a cause is unknown? e.g., Scientists don't know why X, therefore X must be due to chance. Take for example the masses of leptons. ...
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When trying to identify causality, do we assume “nearness” between cause and effect?

When asking people what causes what, it seems that they assume that causality has something to do with "temporal nearness" and "space nearness". That is: If I turn on the light switch and the lamp ...
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Does this example prove that an infinite causal regress is impossible? [duplicate]

Let's suppose that a soldier wants to shoot a bullet, but in order to so he must receive an order from his superior, and his superior must himself receive the order from his superior .... if this ...
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If we live in a simulated world, doesn't there have to be a first world that's real?

There are people who believe we live in a world, simulated on a computer. That computer must have been built in either another computer-generated world or a real world (by which I mean a non-simulated ...
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880 views

Does Quantum Entanglement Disprove the Principle of Locality?

Regarding the debate between quantum mechanics and determinism I have encountered a problem I can't find the answer to. It is my impression that in order to solve Bell's inequality you would have to ...