Questions tagged [causation]

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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. ...
Aaliyah's user avatar
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7 votes
1 answer

Temporally stable determination of value in consequentialism

If one is a consequentialist, one at least implicitly makes decisions based on how good or bad the consequences are. As such, you must implicitly have a function f that maps from the set of ...
Rex Kerr's user avatar
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How can one in principle distinguish causality from observed regularity?

Hume showed that one cannot infer cause & effect in nature by induction alone. We only notice that when event A occurs then so does event B. If event A always occurs before event B we are still ...
Mozibur Ullah's user avatar
26 votes
9 answers

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 ...
Niel de Beaudrap's user avatar
1 vote
3 answers

Can there be an infinite chain of causes/effects? [duplicate]

One of Aristotle's premises for proving that God exists is that there cannot be an infinite chain of causes and effects, hence there must be one cause which had no previous cause (i.e. God). Does ...
user813801's user avatar
10 votes
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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 ...
k0pernikus's user avatar
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11 votes
1 answer

Is there any literature on the relationship between responsibility and probability?

If A causes B and I am doing A (willingly, knowingly, ...), then I can be held responsible for B. But what if probabilities are involved? Thought experiment: If you roll a 1 on a die you win. You ...
qollin's user avatar
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8 votes
5 answers

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 ...
Bob D.'s user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers

What is Causality? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What does “to cause” mean? Take an example, It is reported that short-circuit caused fire in city bakery. In this case short-circuit and fire was in a causality, short-circuit ...
Popopo's user avatar
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10 votes
3 answers

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 ...
FrankH's user avatar
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11 votes
6 answers

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 ...
Kenshin's user avatar
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4 votes
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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 ...
Mozibur Ullah's user avatar
13 votes
1 answer

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 ...
Jon Ericson's user avatar
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12 votes
10 answers

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 ...
Jon Ericson's user avatar
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17 votes
7 answers

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 ...
stoicfury's user avatar
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15 votes
9 answers

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 ...
Toph's user avatar
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12 votes
3 answers

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 ...
dimo414's user avatar
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