Questions tagged [causation]

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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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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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1answer
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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
174 views

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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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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1answer
201 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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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 the ...
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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 ...
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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, ...
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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 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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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 ...
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Apparent causation in a strictly causally determined world

Imagine an automata universe (an example of a universe in which all causation is defined as an operation on the current state of the object of change defined by a set of immutable rules/axioms, which ...
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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 ...
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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? ...
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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 ...
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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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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 of P. I'll ...
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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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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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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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Kant's distinction of freedom as transcendental idea and as practical concept: What is the benefit?

Prompted by the current discussion about Kant’s concept of causality of freedom Can Free Will Exist In A Causal Material World? I would like to understand the scope and the difference of the two ...
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779 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 ...
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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 ...
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Hume's definition of cause and effect

I read on Wikipedia that Hume remarks that we may define the relation of cause and effect such that ``where, if the first object had not been, the second never had existed." I do not understand ...
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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 ...
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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?