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

John Bigelow on Causes - Dictionary of Arguments

I 267
Cause/Bigelow/Pargetter: Thesis: a cause is neither sufficient nor necessary for an effect.
Reason: there is a backup system that could have produced the same effect.
I 268
If the updated system failed. E.g. you could have also eaten another slice of bread. Different food intake can have exactly the same effect.
Blur/Imperfection/Bigelow/Pargetter: it is a characteristic feature of living systems. Nevertheless, this is not an intrinsic feature.
, >Causation, >Causality, cf. >Anomalous monism.
Cause/Lewis/Bigelow/Pargetter: Lewis allows that a cause is not a necessary condition for the effect. Nevertheless, he explains causation by necessity. Namely, through chains of necessary conditions. (1973b(1), 1986d(2), 1979(3)).
>Necessity, >Conditions, >Sufficiency.
Cause/Mackie/Bigelow/Pargetter: he arrives at similar results like Lewis, but with strict conditionals.
Cause/INUS/Mackie: (Mackie 1965)(4) Thesis: not a sufficient but necessary part of an unnecessary but sufficient condition.
Cause/Lewis/Mackie/Bigelow/Pargetter: both come from a chain of necessary conditions. They differ in how the links of the chain are to be connected.
Lewis: through counterfactual conditioning
Mackie: through strict conditionals. Their antecedents can be so complex that we cannot specify them in practice.
Backup system/Bigelow/Pargetter: (see above) would cause a counterfactual conditional to fail. Nevertheless, Lewis records the cause as a cause because it contributes to the chain.
Mackie: dito, because the deviant cause is part of a sufficient condition.
BigelowVsLewis/BigelowVsMackie: both theories have disadvantages.
>Counterfactual conditional.

1.Lewis, D.K. (1973). Causation. Journal of Philosophy 70. pp.556-67.
2. Lewis, D.K. (1986d). Philosophical Papers, Vol. II, New York: Oxford University Press.
3. Lewis, D. K. (1979). Counterfactual dependence and time's arrow, Nous 13 pp.455-76.
4. Mackie, J. L. (1965). Causes and Conditions. American Philosophical Quarterly 2, pp.245-255.

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.

Big I
J. Bigelow, R. Pargetter
Science and Necessity Cambridge 1990

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