Questions tagged [causation]

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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 ...
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Is cause and effect part of an individual's theory of the mind?

One of the arguments marshaled against traditional cultures' invocation of spirits is that they're simply projecting their own fears onto the world. That they're anthropomorphizing the world. It is ...
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Did Malebranche believe both the idea in the mind and the movement in the body are caused by God?

My senior thesis explored the notion of action under George Berkeley's system, and one claim I tried to address was that Berkeley contradicts himself when discussing will. In his Philosophical ...
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What does “the fact that P causes Q” mean?

I'm reading the paper, "A Causal theory of knowing", written by Goldman. In the paper, he presents the following as conditions of knowledge (S knows P): 1) It is the case that P. 2) S believes that ...
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Are the experiences of the “flow of time” and of “cause and effect” qualia?

Physics and biology have no answer why or how we personally experience the color red and we say that the experience of the color red is a quale. Physics also has no answer why or how we experience ...
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Is this a proper counter-example to the causal theory of knowledge?

The causal theory of knowledge says: S knows P iff (1) It is the case that P. (2) S believes P. (3) There is an appropriate causal connection between the fact that P and S's belief ...
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1answer
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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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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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How far does Nietzsche's skepticism of causality go?

On page 21 of Nietzsche's Beyond Good and Evil, I found the following quote: Suppose someone sees through the boorish naivete of this famous concept of "free will" and manages to get it out of his ...
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Can logic be without time?

I think logic is dependent on time. My reasoning is that all of the basic logic concepts are based on axioms that are observations in time (so basic that they do not require proof). This then leads ...
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Is there any exception to the law of “Cause and Effect”?

I've heard that 'God' is the only exception to the law of Cause and Effect which means that He is not dependent in His existence on anything. Can it be philosophically true? If we accepted this ...
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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 ...
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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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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 ...
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Is a cyclical model of time and the universe logically valid, and which philosophers (if any) have proposed such a model?

If we accept the following premises: 1: An event (such as a Big Bang) happened. (I use the phrase Big Bang, because many are familiar with that as the "Initial Cause", but this theory would ...
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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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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 ...
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What distinguishes cause from effect when they are simultaneous?

At a high level, distinguishing cause and effect is typically easy enough: the cause comes first. I drop a ball off a roof; therefore, it falls and hits the ground. But on a fundamental level, physics ...
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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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If the Humean analysis of causality is correct, why don't we observe causeless events more often?

The Humean analysis of causation would hold that there is no actual relation between two events (being 'cause' and 'effect'), and that any sense of 'causal powers' can be reduced to talk about the ...
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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 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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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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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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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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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 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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Hume and Kant on causality: do their views really differ?

David Hume If one event always follows another we believe the first causes the second. But it is impossible to prove, empirically or logically, that the second event happened because the first ...
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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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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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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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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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Does Epictetus State “Only One Cause Motivates Us”, Or “One Cause More than Others”?

1. Question: From Epictetus, Discourses, 1.11, (Perseus English Link): Is Epictetus implying there is only ever just one cause for our actions? Or, is Epictetus arguing there is one cause which ...
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What is the difference between correlation and sufficient causation? [duplicate]

I have been told that X is a sufficient cause of Y if every time X happens, Y happens, too. However, isn't it the same as 'correlation'? For instance, if I say that global temperature is correlated ...
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What are some alternatives to Mill's induction methods?

I have been taught that Mill's methods for identification of causes (agreement, difference, etc.) only apply when we can define our universe of possible causes very strictly (i.e., when we know all ...
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Why would David Hume judge 'bread nourishes' as a Matter of Fact, and not a Relation of Idea?

Source: p 115, Philosophy: A Complete Introduction (2012) by Prof Sharon Kaye (MA PhD in Philosophy, U. Toronto). Caution: I rewrote numerals as integers for easier reading. 1 Relations of ideas ...