Questions tagged [causation]
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Is the idea of a causal chain physical (or even scientific)?
I am aware that the idea is venerable, going back through Lucretius to the Stoics and Epicurus, and even to Aristotle with his prime mover argument. But isn't this a pre-scientific notion? The ...
Is the idea that "Everything is energy" even coherent?
There are many New Age websites claiming Everything is energy. Does this even make sense in philosophy of physics and metaphysics? How can something be "made out of energy"? As far as I ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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.
Is conception an Aristotelian efficient, or material cause?
Someone asks you the question, "Why are you?" You reply My parents conceived me. Am I correct in saying that your conception, according to Aristotle, is the efficient cause of your existence, ...
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 ...
What is the difference between correlation and causation?
What is the difference between correlation and causation? Pirates and Global Temperature Example For example, how do we know when we're dealing with correlation only and not also causation here? more ...
Does having a positive teleology require an entity that has intention exist?
One of the criticisms of Aristotle's final cause category is that if a thing has a purpose, there must exist some entity that has intention to set up that cause. Generally speaking, skeptical ...
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 ...
How do modern dualists explain the mind-body interaction?
A serious challenge for dualism is explaining how mind and body interact if they are made of ontologically different substances, and more specifically how mental phenomena can causally drive bodily ...
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 ...
What is this idea of causality being articulated?
So I wanted to ask about the kind of causality when someone says something of the sort: "Communism made these people destroy their own society" or "I have a brilliant idea now I will ...
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 ...
Why is mind interacting with matter any more problematic than matter interacting with matter?
So there's this supposedly an 'interaction' problem for substance dualism, that isn't there for physicalism or idealism. I've never understood this. So as Hume pointed out, we see event a followed by ...
Can a lack of knowledge or understanding invalidate a positive claim?
Consider the example of causal determinism. It can be phrased in many ways, all with identical meaning: - The idea that "every event, including human cognition and behavior, decision and action, is ...
What did Wittgenstein mean by saying that the belief in the causal nexus is a superstition?
In the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, Wittenstein says: 5.1361 The events of the future cannot be inferred from those of the present. Superstition is the belief in the causal nexus. I'm ...
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 ...
Why did the chicken cross the road?
I understand more or less why To get to the other side. can be considered to be a valid answer to the question: Why did the chicken cross the road? I don't understand why Aristotle's final cause ...
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 ...
Why is causation not just a special case of correlation?
Here is more context to the question. A common example given of the “obviousness” that correlation does not equal causation is that shark attacks correlate with ice cream consumption. The explanation ...
What are some good philosophical resources on nonlocality?
Bernard d'Espagnat offers a good treatment of nonlocality as it pertains to physics, in his 2006 On Physics and Philosophy. What I'm interested is whether nonlocality has been observed and discussed ...
How do laws of nature enforce themselves?
The Humean view prevailing today is that laws of nature are mere regularities of the empirical events. However, there seems to be a difference between post factum regularities, like the Titius-Bode ...
causality vs determinism
Does causality implies determinism? Causation is a necessary relation between cause and effect and I consider determinism as "state of the future will be uniquely fixed by the past's state " ...
What's the difference (if any) between demonstration and description?
How do philosophers of various schools* explain the difference (if any) between demonstration and mere description? Are they synonymous, or are they different? How so? My first impressions: To ...
Aquinas' Third Way: Why Argue For Only One Necessary Entity?
I came across this description of Aquinas' third way: Third, he argues that if there were no eternal, necessary, and immortal being, if everything had a possibility of not being, of ceasing to be, ...
Who has defended a non-causal (emanationist) concept of strong emergence, compatible with reductionism?
Often in debates about emergence, an opposition is set up between (strong) emergence and reductionism. These are seen as incompatible alternatives. In particular, if one believes in downward causation,...
Is there a Possible World in which Humeanism isn't true?
I'm an amateur philosopher, interested in the work of Ned Hall: Mindscape podcast: Ned Hall on Possible Worlds and the Laws of Nature (Dec-2019) PhilPapers: Humean Reductionism About Laws Of Nature (...
Are things "caused" by the butterfly effect actually caused by them?
I once read that even a humble medieval peasant merely had to sneeze to cause events hundreds of years in the future: "Not just Napoleon but the humblest medieval peasant had only to sneeze in ...
Why must objects be moved by other objects in Aquinas' First Way argument for God?
In his famous Summa Theologica, the Scholastic theologian Thomas Aquinas presents Five Ways to demonstrate the existence of God. Here is Aquinas' First Way, the argument from motion: The first and ...
Is an infinite regress good logic?
I have come across claims that first causes are not needed we can always have an infinite regress. Is this good logic is what I'm wondering. If the universe has an beginning should we believe that ...
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 ...
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 ...
Is the phrase "Dying is the #1 cause of death in the world" logically sound? [closed]
I just came across it and though it seems like an obvious statement I feel like the rapport of cause doesn't apply here. Dying IS death and not a cause of it. Right?
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 ...