Psychology Dictionary of Arguments

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Causes: whether something is a physical cause of something depends on the separation of two objects or processes that are to be identified as cause and effect, as well as the transmission of energy. Whether this relationship comes about is therefore contingent. From a linguistic point of view, the relationship between cause and effect is a necessary relation since the concept of the cause is applied only to something which has an effect. See also de re, de dicto, necessity, contingency, causality, effect.
Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments.

Author Concept Summary/Quotes Sources

Stephen Jay Gould on Causes - Dictionary of Arguments

II 78
Causes/Aristotle/Gould: according to Aristotle, every incident has four distinct types of causes: e.g. House: What is the cause of my house?
1. Material Cause: it makes a difference which material is used.
2. Inducing Cause: the actual work must be carried out.
3. Formal Cause: the formal cause are the pre-defined blueprints.
4. Final Causes, Purpose Cause/GouldVsAristotle: these are no longer accepted today.
Today we confine ourselves to the "causative cause" of Aristotle and do not regard the composition of the table, for example, as irrelevant, but it is no longer called the cause.
Aristotle believes that it "thunders, for example, because there must be a hissing and raving while the fire is being extinguished, and also to threaten the souls in Tarutarus".(1)
, >Explanation, >Causal explanation.
- - -
III 239
Cause/effect/evolution: cause and effect are not always unambiguously determinable with regard to evolution. For example, brain: no one can say that our brain has been enlarged by natural selection for a certain purpose!
Complexity/human/evolution: complexity, as for example in the human, is a passive consequence of evolutionary principles whose main result is something completely different.
It is an effect, but not an effect of causes that are used for their purpose.

1. Aristotle, Anal.Post II 94b, 1. 28

Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Concept/Author], [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] resp. "problem:"/"solution:", "old:"/"new:" and "thesis:" is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

Gould I
Stephen Jay Gould
The Panda’s Thumb. More Reflections in Natural History, New York 1980
German Edition:
Der Daumen des Panda Frankfurt 2009

Gould II
Stephen Jay Gould
Hen’s Teeth and Horse’s Toes. Further Reflections in Natural History, New York 1983
German Edition:
Wie das Zebra zu seinen Streifen kommt Frankfurt 1991

Gould III
Stephen Jay Gould
Full House. The Spread of Excellence from Plato to Darwin, New York 1996
German Edition:
Illusion Fortschritt Frankfurt 2004

Gould IV
Stephen Jay Gould
The Flamingo’s Smile. Reflections in Natural History, New York 1985
German Edition:
Das Lächeln des Flamingos Basel 1989

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