# Questions tagged [causation]

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### Examples of identical sets which are not causal?

Google is failing me in my search for examples of identical sets which do no have causal relationships between them. What I mean is that all and only objects which belong to set A belong to set B, but ...
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### What do you call the fallacy of thinking that some action A will guarantee some outcome B, when in reality B depends on multiple other conditions?

Example: Dentist: “You have multiple cavities.” Patient: “That’s ridiculous! You always told me that brushing my teeth prevents cavities. I brush my teeth every night. Therefore, I can’t possibly ...
18 views

### Is Duff's test of failure just the contrapositive of “D intends a consequence of his action if he acts with the aim of producing that consequence”?

Isn't 2 (Duff's test of failure) just the contrapositive of 1? I can rephrase 2 as 2.1. If the result didn't occur, would D regard himself as having failed in his plan? The logical contrapositive ...
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### Does a biconditional necessarily imply a causal relationship?

Supposing A if and only if B, is it necessarily true that either A causes B or B causes A? I'm considering this question where the truth values of A and B are both True, not both false. In theory, ...
25 views

### What's the difference between cause and condition?

If I drop a ball, the act of release is the cause. What are the conditions in this situation? Few examples that come to mind are: gravity, mass, density of air.. What's the difference between cause ...
44 views

### Do any arguments — at all— about qualia work analogously to arguments about causation?

Are there any arguments about qualia that are analogous to those about cause? I'm asking partly because cause and qualia seem they should be hot topics of any philosophy, and partly due to a confused ...
145 views

### Formal logic to describe causation?

I'm looking for any formal work that has been done on describing causation the way people understand it. I am not looking for logical implication, more a way to talk about "Why?" questions. Basically, ...
49 views

### 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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### 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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### 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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### Can there be cause and effect without time?

Our usual understanding of cause and effect operates tensely; that is in time. But consider a basic statement in some generic computer language: if x then y Is this in time? Well an actually ...
117 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 ...
424 views

### A Neo-Kantian View on Causality?

Quantum non-determinism seems incompatible with Kant’s defense of causality in his Second Analogy. Stephen R. Palmquist however provides an interesting and appealing case against this supposition, ...
114 views

### How does one cause impede the action of another cause?

How does Aristotle or a medieval scholastic commentator like St. Thomas Aquinas explain how one cause can impede the action of another cause? Or, conversely, how does the removal of an impeding cause ...
119 views

### Are all explanations either personal or scientific?

In A New Cosmological Argument, Richard Gale and Alexander Pruss offer up a cosmological argument for a personal God, from the weak principle of sufficient reason (among other premises, but the WPSR ...
119 views

### Is this argument equivalent to the argument of prime mover of Aristotle?

For alternation in the status of A to be a cause of the alteration in the status of B, we naively demand that the former alteration exists before the later, and so the later [i.e.; the alteration in ...
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### Questions concerning Hume's argument for the unknowability of ultimate causes

I'm currently reading through Hume's An Inquiry Concerning Human Understanding, and I'm having trouble understanding one of his big arguments in the section entitled "Skeptical Doubts Concerning the ...
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### Why did Spinoza believe that God's infinity, but not God's perfection, implied causal necessity?

Source: p 121, Philosophy: A Complete Introduction (2012) by Prof Sharon Kaye (MA PhD (Philosophy), U. Toronto) 6. For Spinoza, causal necessity is implied by which of the following? a) ...
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### Is the delayed choice quantum eraser a refutation of principle of causality? How does contemporary philosophy make sense of it?

Causality, as per Wiki Is the relation between an event (the cause) and a second event (the effect), where the first event is understood to be responsible for the second. For this relationship ...
178 views

### Would a first cause exist necessarily, so that absences are uncaused?

Would a first cause exist necessarily? So, let's suppose God is the first cause. Does that mean he necessarily exists? Does He then mean that his effects also exist, contingently or not, so that ...
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### Is there a philosophical position for and against the idea that every causal entity contributes to every effect?

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 ...
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### What are examples of causes that do not require energy to produce an effect?

As a comment to an answer Conifold mentioned that "Causes may not require any energy to produce the effect". After thinking about that, I couldn't come up with any such causes outside of metaphysical ...
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### Is infinite regress of causation possible? Is infinite regress of causation necessary?

For a number of reasons — including perhaps a desire to feel that we have a complete understanding of where we came from, or at least an understanding which is completely sufficient for all of ...
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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 ...
166 views

### “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 ...
124 views

### 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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### 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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### 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. ...
73 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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### 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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### 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 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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### 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 ...
130 views

### 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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### 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; ...
3k views

### Is there a cogent argument against the principle of sufficient reason?

As far as I can see, there are no significant arguments against the principle that all events have a cause, which is to say the principle of sufficient reason. (It's important to note that the ...
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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 does the Humean analysis of causation account for the following objections?

The Humean analysis of causation reads as follows: "We may define a cause to be an object, followed by another, and where all the objects similar to the first, are followed by objects similar to ...
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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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### 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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### 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 ...
144 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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### 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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### 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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### Can we have a present point in time in a reality based only on natural causes?

Physicists like Lawrence Krauss have explained that it is possible for particles, and even a universe such as ours, to arise spontaneously due to the very nature of the nothingness of empty space. ...
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### Can anything truly be simultaneous?

I was looking at a discussion about simultaneous causation and something that came up was that all physical processes take time. So nothing can truly be simultaneous. And yet, we have philosophers ...
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### What does “to cause” mean?

What does it mean, strictly, for one event to "cause" another? If I throw a ball, does the movement of my arm cause the ball to move, or are they simply correlated events? If you say the arm caused ...