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Questions tagged [causation]

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“Idea of Power” - Locke and Hume

What is the concept of "power" in the context of "causation" in the philosophy of John Locke and David Hume? At one instance, in his treatise "An Inquiry Concerning Human Understanding", Hume seems ...
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Must an eternal object be uncaused?

Let's say that we grant that item "X" is eternal. By "eternal" we mean that it has always existed and that it always will exist. Because "X" is eternal, does it follow that it MUST be uncaused?
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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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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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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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Is Levinas using an original form of causation?

I don't remember the exact reference so it might be a bit hard to understand my question, but I'll try to draw the general idea that I understand Levinas to be using. Levinas puts a kind of ...
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Hume and the notion of causation

Hume argues that what most people associate as "cause" could be the constant conjunction of events. There is no way to prove a necessary connection between A and B. However, my question has to do ...
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1answer
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Combining causal and identity relations

Suppose I have the causal relation C causes E, and the symmetric identity relation E is (E1 ^ E2 ^ E3), which have the following probability functions: E = bC and E = E1 * E2 * E3 where E, C, E1, E2 ...
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How do epiphenomenalists make sense of discussions about qualia?

Epiphenomenalists believe that mental events have no causal effect on the physical. They may differ in what they consider "mental events" but it seems all of them would consider qualia / phenomenal ...
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3answers
117 views

Will AI make falsifiability obsolete?

With the advances in machine learning, data mining and process of big data, soon machines will find patterns that could either interpreted as causation or correlation while we have no idea of the ...
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How is 'social meaning of an action' a human action's Formal Cause?

Capaldi PhD Columbia, Smit PhD Catholic Univ. of Leuven. The Art of Deception (2007). p. 213. Please see the red arrow beneath. How can 'social meaning of an action' be the Formal Cause of the human ...
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Why's an acorn's Formal Cause “structural potential to become an oak tree”?

Capaldi PhD Columbia, Smit PhD Catholic Univ. of Leuven. The Art of Deception (2007). p. 191-2. According to Aristotle, the concept of "causation" has to be understood in four different senses. ...
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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
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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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3answers
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Can the principle of sufficient reason be applied to the whole of existence?

Many philosophers (Leibniz and Heidegger, to name but two) consider "Why is there something rather than nothing" the most difficult and important question. Given that "nothing" is a possibility among ...
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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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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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1answer
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Are physical forces a non-entity cause?

I have been browsing some posts in this StackExchange where I encountered a rather odd proposition that Gravity and other forces are non-entity causes. I fail to see how that is the case. I ...
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Is there a theory in philosophy that time can be reduced to causation?

Some people really believe that the past somehow physically exists even if it's past. Like the universe has some kind of container where all its past states are stored. On the other hand, there are ...
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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 and logical reasoning, but I'm a bit confused over it (especially in terms of the "first cause" argument). Causality (from Wikipedia): Agency or ...
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If purpose is just another side of cause, is everyone a consequentialist?

Purpose is just another side of cause. This is what I take as a premise. One might change "cause" by "reason" sometimes, both are related. Every non-randomistic process has some end after which this ...
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Sketch of a proof for real free will?

I have read many contemporary philosophers and the mainstream view seems to be that real free will is an illusion in the sense that consciousness is an emergent phenomenon which is only set on top of ...
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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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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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On the explanation of facts

As a chemist, I have some philosophical doubts about explanation of facts. Short intro In Bertrand Russell's book 'History of Western Philosophy' he says that leading-to scientific knowledge is the '...
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1answer
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The subtle difference between interaction and causal effect (law of cause and effect)

I was talking with a friend about autonomous cars, he said to me that for these cars is required full interaction with other vehicles. I thought that with "interaction" he was referring to "...
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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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Can we assume that there are infinitely many possible states of the world at time t + 1?

I wasn't exactly sure where to post this question, so I decided that it's sufficiently philosophical in nature to warrant its being posted here. I may end up posting it on Mathematics SE as well. I'...
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Does Nagarjuna's MMK offer any interesting arguments against the existence of a God?

Does Nagarjuna's MMK offer any interesting arguments against the existence of a God? I believe that it's meant to be a refutation of the view that dharmas, elements of cognition, have svabhava, or ...
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What is the difference between Avicenna's and al-Ghazâlî's understandings of causality?

In the 17th discussion of The Incoherence of the Philosophers, Al-Ghazali attempts to explain how a certain view of causality (which we can see is quite certainly intended to be that espoused by ...
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Why is the mind/body problem considered to be particularly hard?

Non-philosopher here. I apologize in advance for any imprecise language. Why is the notion that mental states exist and arise from brain states especially perplexing? Aren't what entities exist and ...
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Downward causation and unpredictable pattern formation in cellular automata [closed]

In Cellular Automatas , like game of life, different preliminary conditions will produce different pattern, that are unpredictable. Some of these large complex structures can effect on the internal ...
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What fallacy infers motivation from mere description?

Here's some example: "Men dominate women in the majority of fortune top 100 CEO positions" "Women dominate men in primary school teaching jobs" Neither the men nor the women are actually purposely ...
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Question on causation

I have a question on causation Presuming transitive causation such as : A causes B causes C, Where we say A causes C Is it correct to say: A causes C in virtue of causing the effect that is B that ...
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Is it a logical flaw to blame someone for an event if they were simply its causal factor?

I would ask if this is a logical fallacy, but I don't think you can consider wrongful attribution of blame to be a logical fallacy, because attributing blame is a normative claim, not a descriptive ...
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Hume (Cause and Effect and Substance)

I am having trouble understanding how Hume arrives at the concepts of cause and effect and of substance. Does any of it have to do with every perception being a distinct experience or that causation ...
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How are “causal” loops avoided in Aristotelian-Thomistic metaphysics?

If we take Aquinas' first way, for example, the inference that a chain of movers exist, is readily made, but no defense for this assumption is given. Usually the argument is interpreted so, that all ...
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What was Kant's argument that causation is necessary for observation?

In this comic, the fictional Immanuel Kant talks about investigating David Hume's "An Inquiry Concerning Human Reason". Hume, in that work, argued that we only see two things happening in sequence and ...
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How can effects be thinkable without a law of causality?

The following quotes are from Wittgenstein's Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus. 6.36 If there were a law of causality, it might run: “There are natural laws”... 6.54 My propositions are ...
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Causal Closure and God

It seems many philosophers and scientists alike accept the idea of causal closure. This page states, Belief in this kind of causality is deeply held by many philosophers and scientists. Many say it ...
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How does Tooley's “simple world” refute the counterfactual account of causality?

In Causation: Reductionism Versus Realism, Michael Tooley proposes a thought experiment where we imagine a simple world with only two "causal laws": For any object x, x's having property P for a ...
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Does Hume's skepticism about causality depend on his belief that all ideas are derived from sense impressions?

I'm aware of Hume's argument and definitions of cause (though I'm very much open to any kind of discussion around the topic). But I'm most interested in how important his assertion that all ideas are ...
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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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According to determinism, what came first- the cause or the reason?

We know that every effect begins with a cause. Also, every cause produces an effect (otherwise it wouldn't be a cause because it wouldn't cause anything to happen). Likewise, we know that every ...
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Cannot we argue that pluralism 'unite[s] the family of causes' `in virtue of the epistemological facts of how we use them in our thinking`?

Source: p 83-84 Top. Causation: A Very Short Introduction (1 ed 2013) by Stephen Mumford, Rani Lill Anjum. Making the right inferences There is at least one attempt to explain what unites all ...
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How does additive interference cause causation to fail?

Source: p 48 Bottom - 49 Top. Causation: A Very Short Introduction (1 ed 2013) by Stephen Mumford, Rani Lill Anjum. The Production Process The argument from additive interference has a broad ...
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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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What is the logical structure of this argument by a Hindu philosopher about causation?

The Khandana Khanda Khadya is a work by the 12th century Hindu philosopher Sri Harsha which in some sense sets out to disprove epistemology - it seeks to show that all putative means of knowledge, ...
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Does gravity cause things to fall?

I always thought that science is something we model out of the real world. That is, we basically observe a few things and then we come up with a model to explain the observations and predict more. In ...