Questions tagged [causation]

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6
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6answers
437 views

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 ...
25
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7answers
21k views

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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6answers
877 views

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 ...
8
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1answer
238 views

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 ...
5
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2answers
200 views

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, ...
5
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1answer
3k views

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.
9
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7answers
4k 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 ...
8
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5answers
2k views

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 ...
12
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1answer
253 views

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 ...
6
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5answers
3k views

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? ...
11
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6answers
1k views

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 ...
8
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4answers
373 views

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 ...
1
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1answer
131 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 ...
18
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8answers
6k views

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 ...
10
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2answers
3k views

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 ...
4
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3answers
259 views

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 ...
2
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13answers
903 views

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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3answers
2k views

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 ...
5
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3answers
662 views

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 ...
6
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3answers
1k views

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 ...
4
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4answers
151 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 ...
4
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1answer
129 views

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 ...
4
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5answers
210 views

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 ...
3
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2answers
1k views

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 ...
2
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3answers
460 views

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, ...
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1answer
55 views

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 (...
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3answers
179 views

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?
1
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1answer
215 views

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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2answers
592 views

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 ...
1
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6answers
657 views

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 ...
0
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3answers
893 views

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 ...