Philosophy Lexicon of Arguments

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 Item Excerpt Meta data

Books on Amazon
I 25
Principle of the Common Cause/P.C.C./Fraassen: eventually leads to postulating unobservable entities. - The principle of the common cause cannot be a general principle of science.
I 28
Common Cause/C.C./Fraassen: to say that C is the common cause for the correlation between A and B is to say that relative to C there is no such correlation. C explains the correlation, because we only notice a correlation for as long as we do not consider C. - FraassenVsReichenbach: the principle of the common cause does not rule the science of the 20th century, because it requires deterministic theories.
I 114
Cause/Explanation/Theory: Def Cause/Mackie: non-sufficient but necessary part of a non-necessary but sufficient condition. - FraassenVsMackie: Restriction: otherwise e.g. growth-plus-death-plus-decay may be the cause of death. - 1) Not every sufficient condition is a cause. - E.g. the existence of the knife is a necessary part. - 2) A cause must also not be necessary. - It may be that there are no previous sufficient conditions at all. - E.g. radium causes Geiger counter to click. - But atomic physics is compatible with that it does not click. - Cause/Solution/Lewis: Counterfactual Conditional: if A had not existed, B would not have exited. - Fraassen: but not literally. - Wrong: that a counterfactual conditional was the same as a necessary condition. - Solution/Fraassen: here, the "if/then" logic does not apply, because applies the law of attenuation there. - Everyday language: there is no attenuation here.

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.

Fr I
B. van Fraassen
The Scientific Image Oxford 1980

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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2017-09-20