Philosophy Dictionary of Arguments

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Condition: an event as a requirement for another event to occur. In most cases used as a relation of two linguistic expressions for two events or states. See also sufficient, necessary, conditional, premisses, entailment.

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 Conditions - Dictionary of Arguments

I 270
Conditions/causation/cause/causality/Bigelow/Pargetter: therefore, we will not treat the necessary and sufficient conditions separately, but assume a general modal relation between cause and effect. It is this theory that we reject.
Conditions/sufficient/necessary/causation/Bigelow/Pargetter: general problem: corresponding theories are too strongly bound up with a determinism of nature.
Determinism/Bigelow/Pargetter: is here meant only in a broader sense.
VsDeterminism/Bigelow/Pargetter: from it would follow that there is no effect without sufficient conditions. And that would mean, to the extent that there is indeterminism, we would have to give up the concept of causation.
Causality/Bigelow/Pargetter: we do not have to give it up in the macroscopic world.
Causes/Bigelow/Pargetter: are not conditions.
Cause/Probability/Bigelow/Pargetter: Representatives of causes as conditions could weaken their thesis and speak of probability rather than of sufficient conditions.
I 271
Probability/cause/Bigelow/Pargetter: thus sufficient and necessary conditions are brought together. This is very plausible for many cases. Nevertheless, it is wrong.
Causation/Bigelow/Pargetter: is a local feature of a cause-effect pair. It is a two-digit relation. No relation with undefined many places. However, we can leave the causal relation unchanged if we insert a different cause. For example, a backup system (see, for example, another slice of bread which has the same effect).
Conditions/sufficient/necessary/Bigelow/Pargetter: are - unlike the causation relation - a global feature. For example, when the backup system occurs, what is a necessary condition ceases to be a necessary condition. However, the intrinsic character of the process is unchanged.
Causal laws/causality/Bigelow/Pargetter: thesis: there are causal laws!
And they are global. The truth of the causal laws rests on the character of the world as a whole, not of its constituents. But the truth supervenes on the existence of a pattern of causal transaction in the world.
I 272
Causal Law/Bigelow/Pargetter: thesis: is (or includes) a generalization of causal transactions. It is even stronger than a generalization, because we believe that modality plays a role.
Causal/Bigelow/Pargetter: are not the transactions because the laws exist but vice versa.
Conditions/sufficient/necessary/Bigelow/Pargetter: are supported by causal laws. Therefore, they are also global.
Causal Reaction/Bigelow/Pargetter: is local, in contrast.
Causation/Bigelow/Pargetter: thus, it is also local.
Causal process/Bigelow/Pargetter: is local.
I 273
Effect/Bigelow/Pargetter. One and the same effect could have had different causes. E.g. pregnancy by different men.
Identity/Event/DavidsonVsBigelow: (Davidson 1980) Identity of Events: Thesis: a criterion for identity requires that different causes effect numerically different events.
BigelowVsDavidson: this is wrong, but we do not go into it. But even if he were right, it would not save the modal theory of causation ((s) which integrates necessary and sufficient conditions).
Probability/probabilistic causation/theory/Bigelow/Pargetter. E.g. causing a pregnancy by an almost infertile man - could also be understood as the prevention of parthenogenesis.
I 274
(...). - LewisVs: such counterexamples are implausible.

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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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2022-10-06
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