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KALADIN

The Causal Efficacy of Relationships

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First, let me establish the Objectivist concept of causality (which I agree with) before proceeding to a question which derives from it - 

The Law of Causality is the Law of Identity applied to action : to be is to be something and to be something is to act in accordance with one's nature as that something. A thing can not act as that which it is not for it can not be that which it is and that which it is not at the same time and in the same respect. Plants perform photosynthesis and men do not and can not while men perform reasoning and plants do not and can not; causality is identity in motion.

My question is this: Is the application of causality and causal efficacy delimited to entities only, as opposed to the relationships or attributes they make up or have or establish?

In John Galt's speech, Rand writes, "The law of causality is the law of identity applied to action. All actions are caused by entities. The nature of an action is caused and determined by the nature of the entities that act...". In this formulation, it seems that the first two sentences can be combined to read, "The law of causality is the law of identity applied to that which is caused by entities", from which I infer that the Law of Causality is delimited to the action of entities; causation is an attribute of entities, i.e. only things cause and are caused.

In light of this, and to borrow a popular example employed by Aristotle in his Metaphysics, would it be improper to say something like, "the attainment of health is the cause of my walking" without ever qualifying that the value "health" is embodied, ultimately, in some neural substrate (to which, supposedly, the actual locus of causal power must be attributed)? 

If the answer to the just phrased question is "yes", I believe we run into some perhaps tricky questions such as, "does gravity cause the elliptical orbits or planets?". Colloquially, this sort of phrasing seems perfectly innocuous, but since gravity, or the gravitational force, is not an entity, but a relationship which holds all matter is attracted to all other matter, I believe, if we are still committed to the "yes" above, it would be a mistake or illogical to say such things. Since there is no such thing as gravity, but rather, gravity is a force born of the interaction of and between things, the nature and cause of planetary orbits is to be found in the orbiting planet and that which it orbits. Basically, my question boils down to what is the causal role, if any, of relationships, especially those fundamental and ever-pervasive relationships like the forces of gravitational attraction or magnetism?

This has been bugging me for a bit so any and all answers greatly appreciated.

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2 hours ago, KALADIN said:

"does gravity cause the elliptical orbits or planets?".

This is not something that Objectivism addresses (imho) very well.  Think of this:

If a car runs a stoplight and T-bones another car we would say -- as a matter of CULPABILITY-- that the car that ran the stop light CAUSED the accident.  The CAUSE, in this instance, is Observer-dependent.

But from a Mechanics standpoint, the culpability of the driver(s) would be irrelevant to Equations measuring such things as: Mass, Acceleration, Force, Conservation of Energy, etc.

The Observer in the domain of Newtonian Mechanics is not incorporated into the Equations.  But in the domains of Relativity and Quantum Mechanics, the Observer IS incorporated into the equations.

To address your above quote regarding Newton's Gravity:

F = G \frac{m_1 m_2}{r^2}\

The above EQUATION does not assign CAUSE in the same way that we would assign CULPABILITY in a traffic accident.

Edit:  You have to be careful when discussing Physics in the domain of Language.  It's too easy to drag extraneous things into the equations that are just not there.  Hypotheses non fingo:

Newton"

I have not as yet been able to discover the reason for these properties of gravity from phenomena, and I do not feign hypotheses. For whatever is not deduced from the phenomena must be called a hypothesis; and hypotheses, whether metaphysical or physical, or based on occult qualities, or mechanical, have no place in experimental philosophy. In this philosophy particular propositions are inferred from the phenomena, and afterwards rendered general by induction.

 

Edited by New Buddha

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To add to my response above.  I love this quote from William James' "What Pragmatism Means", and it addresses your question.  The underline is mine.:

One of the most successfully cultivated branches of philosophy in our time is what is called inductive logic, the study of the conditions under which our sciences have evolved. Writers on this subject have begun to show a singular unanimity as to what the laws of nature and elements of fact mean, when formulated by mathematicians, physicists and chemists. When the first mathematical, logical and natural uniformities, the first LAWS, were discovered, men were so carried away by the clearness, beauty and simplification that resulted, that they believed themselves to have deciphered authentically the eternal thoughts of the Almighty. His mind also thundered and reverberated in syllogisms. He also thought in conic sections, squares and roots and ratios, and geometrized like Euclid. He made Kepler's laws for the planets to follow; he made velocity increase proportionally to the time in falling bodies; he made the law of the sines for light to obey when refracted; he established the classes, orders, families and genera of plants and animals, and fixed the distances between them. He thought the archetypes of all things, and devised their variations; and when we rediscover any one of these his wondrous institutions, we seize his mind in its very literal intention.

But as the sciences have developed farther, the notion has gained ground that most, perhaps all, of our laws are only approximations. The laws themselves, moreover, have grown so numerous that there is no counting them; and so many rival formulations are proposed in all the branches of science that investigators have become accustomed to the notion that no theory is absolutely a transcript of reality, but that any one of them may from some point of view be useful. Their great use is to summarize old facts and to lead to new ones. They are only a man-made language, a conceptual shorthand, as someone calls them, in which we write our reports of nature; and languages, as is well known, tolerate much choice of expression and many dialects

 

Edited by New Buddha

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Welcome to Objectivism Online, Kaladin.

Additionally, Is there causal efficacy of attributes of entities, where the attributes are of some entity and not profoundly dependent on other entities and relationships to them? Examples would be the angular momentum of a body, the intrinsic spin or the charge of an elementary particle, the inertial or gravitational mass of a body, or the intensity of a field.

It is a specific property of an entity that is the seat of its causal power, it seems to me. So while one could stress, with Aristotle and Rand, that there can be no properties or relationships without entities (or substances) possessing them, and in that sense an entity is a bearer of causal power, it is also the case that no entity has causal power except through specific properties it possesses.

We think of the gravitational field as being caused by gravitational mass (or by the energy in a field, such as the electromagnetic field), which is a property of a body. It seems an overstatement to me to say that only entities can be causes. I’d pull back and say “Behind every causal power, is an entity with the power.”

Looking more closely at Newton’s law of gravitation, we should notice that what gives rise to an orbit being elliptical is the fact that the central force exerted has strength inversely proportional to distance separating the source body and the orbiting body. Newton proved that if the strength of the central force varied inversely with the distance of separation by some function other than squaring, a specific nonelliptical orbit would result. So we have the illumination that the form of separation-dependence of the strength of the central force is what causes the general form of orbits around the central-force body. And separation is a relation.

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I believe that many still adopt (unknowingly) the Physical Influx model of Causation, which stems from Scholasticism and, arguably, Aristotle.
excerpt:

 

Leibniz wants to rule out any kind of causation in which one substance passes something on to the other substance: “The way of influence is that of the common philosophy. But since it is impossible to conceive of material particles or of species or immaterial qualities which can pass from one of these substances into the other, the view must be rejected” (GP iv, 498f). Early in his career, Leibniz dismisses the influxus physicus of the Scholastic Francisco Suarez as a “barbaric expression metaphorical and more obscure than what it defines”

Leibniz also argues in this way: If the mind (one finite substance) were to act on the body (another finite substance) thereby causing bodily motion, there would be an increase in motion in that region of the world after the mind's action on the body not compensated for by a decrease in motion in another region. This is an obvious violation of the law of the conservation of motion. Therefore, there is no physical influx. Leibniz writes

It appears that part of what bothers Leibniz about physical influx is that in acting, the cause is drained. According to Leibniz, real causation entails that the cause not lose any of its efficacy after exercising its causal power.

People say that the bowling ball "caused" the pins to "move".  But the pins also caused the bowling ball to "move".  The pins are only stationary relative to a particular frame of reference.  The belief that somethings are "still", and a rejection of Infinite Regress, leads one to conclude that there exists a Prime Mover [edit: or The Big Bang] and that Causality has direction.

This arises from, as Carlo Rovelli would say, dragging ontology into the equations.

Edit: Elliptical orbits are also an Idealization, resulting from the assumption in a 2 and 3 body gravitational solution that the largest mass is stationary -- something that does not occur in nature.

 

 

 

Edited by New Buddha

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15 hours ago, KALADIN said:

only things cause and are caused

This a leap from what Law of Causality, Certainly if you take things to be only specific kinds of entities, and I see no reference to causation of "things" (creation?) nor any claim that relationships (presumably your non-thing) are not caused, as clearly they are. My placing a book on top of the table caused the spatial relationship "on top of"... 

15 hours ago, KALADIN said:

In light of this, and to borrow a popular example employed by Aristotle in his Metaphysics, would it be improper to say something like, "the attainment of health is the cause of my walking" without ever qualifying that the value "health" is embodied, ultimately, in some neural substrate (to which, supposedly, the actual locus of causal power must be attributed)? 

I believe the answer is "No".  I am the cause of my walking.

 

15 hours ago, KALADIN said:

gravity, or the gravitational force, is not an entity, but a relationship which holds all matter is attracted to all other matter

This is a little complicated.  1. According to different theories and interpretations of physics, gravity is more than only a "relationship" or a result of a relationship.  Some accounts posit a particle such as a graviton being "exchanged", which causes the attraction, others as you know speak of a warped space-time caused by masses which itself cause acceleration and deviations from straight line movement.  I make no claim as to the correctness or incorrectness of either.

In physics all forces are claimed to be mediated by fundamental particles.  Magnetic and electric forces are claimed to be the result of virtual photons.

Your question is good from a philosophical point of view but should to avoid examples in physics where there is undeniable complication.

 

Back to the general gist of the question:

 

I think the answer to your query is that "actions" as such, do not cause anything, SHEER action that is.  Entities ACTING in a certain way, because they are acting in a certain way might cause different effects because of how they are acting, but it is not the ACTION (absent the entity ... which is an impossibility) which is the cause, it is the entity (which happens to be acting).  The same is true for entities with attributes or properties, because the entity HAS the attribute, by virtue of identity, is IS different from an entity with a different attribute or the same entity at another time after it has changed and has taken on a different attribute.  It then follows that (depending upon the relevance on the attribute to the particular action) the different entities act differently.  The attribute is not acting, it is the entity which possesses the attribute which acts, and in any case the attribute cannot exist separately from the entity.

Edited by StrictlyLogical

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Budd,

A self-same single point can be a foci of many different ellipses about it. As you know each ellipse will have two foci. So two different ellipses can share a single point as one of their foci and have another, unshared point for their other foci. (So three distinct points composing four distinct foci, right?) In a two-body gravitating system, each of the two bodies will have its own elliptical orbit. They will share one point as one of their foci. That point is the center of mass of the two bodies. Newton has it that each of the two bodies has an elliptical orbit with that center-of-mass point as one focus. In a binary star system, that point would be somewhere outside either star, a point somewhere between them and lying on the line connecting the two centers of mass of the individual stars. Were all the planets in the solar system but one removed, the situation would be as with the binary stars except that because of the far greater mass of the sun in comparison to the planet, the center of mass of the sun-planet system is located inside the sun. In fact its located very near the sun's own individual center of mass. So the sun's center of mass makes a tiny elliptical orbit having the sun-planet center of mass as one of its foci. And the planet has its orbit about the sun, an elliptical orbit with that same sun-planet center of mass as one of its foci. 

Things get more complicated as we add back the rest of the planets and moons. And there are situations of instabilities in orbits. Nature has its ways forward in all cases, and ours is only to comprehend its ways. Poincare was a pioneer concerning stability of orbits, and that work, as well as work on n-body gravitating systems in general continues to advance today.

I'd mention also that when we have a differential equation describing a force and the equation is one that we cannot solve exactly (solutions being what tells the trajectories of things under influence of the force), but only generate numerical-approximation solutions, that does not mean that nature is approximate about the matter. I imagine you know that, but it may be good to rehearse.

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1 hour ago, Boydstun said:

I'd mention also that when we have a differential equation describing a force and the equation is one that we cannot solve exactly (solutions being what tells the trajectories of things under influence of the force), but only generate numerical-approximation solutions, that does not mean that nature is approximate about the matter. I imagine you know that, but it may be good to rehearse.

I completely agree.  The belief that "numerical-approximations" (and/or probability/statistical mechanics) somehow means that the Universe is "indeterminate" lies at the heart of some of the confusions surrounding QM (per my limited understanding).  The Universe is neither determinate nor indeterminate - it just is.  At the opposite end of the spectrum is Mathematical Platonism.   This type of thinking is an example of "dragging ontology into the equations".  Many people don't appreciate how, in Mechanics, solutions to real life problems require approximations.  This has nothing to do with the nature of the Universe.

Edit:  There is a logic to how one constructs a Structural Engineering Model of a building, but it is in no way exhaustive.

Edited by New Buddha

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17 hours ago, StrictlyLogical said:

 

On ‎2‎/‎25‎/‎2016 at 10:53 PM, KALADIN said:

In light of this, and to borrow a popular example employed by Aristotle in his Metaphysics, would it be improper to say something like, "the attainment of health is the cause of my walking" without ever qualifying that the value "health" is embodied, ultimately, in some neural substrate (to which, supposedly, the actual locus of causal power must be attributed)? 

I believe the answer is "No".  I am the cause of my walking.

Oops.  The answer is "Yes" it would be improper.  I am the cause of my walking.

 

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Boydstun

On ‎2‎/‎25‎/‎2016 at 5:21 AM, Boydstun said:

It is a specific property of an entity that is the seat of its causal power, it seems to me.

 

On ‎2‎/‎25‎/‎2016 at 5:21 AM, Boydstun said:

it is also the case that no entity has causal power except through specific properties it possesses.

This is fascinating. 

It seems to me that rather than a specific "property" being a seat of causal power of an entity, our concept of a specific property of the entity is the identification of its causal power.

It also seems to me that rather than an entity having causal power "through" specific properties it possesses, entities have or have not certain causal powers, which we then identify conceptually as the entity "exhibiting" the "property".  We have isolated and abstracted away a "fractional nature" of an entity's identity (which in reality is indivisible, whole), namely, its causal power, but we have not identified anything separate, or distinct in reality.

As a clumsy summary: The whole of the indivisible identity of the entity is the seat of its power, i.e. the entity IS and it has the causal power it HAS.  Ascribing properties to entities identify their natures which necessarily identify what causal powers it has.

 

Worse summary (not sure of its validity... need to think more): properties are like separate identifiable commonalities of concretes we have abstracted away, and as universals are Objective, not intrinsic nor subjective.  Properties, as Objective universals, are not existential nor causal in the way existents are (I am not sure if I've heard anyone else say this, but "existents" could be seen as the only kinds of things "intrinsic" to reality) and as such properties are not per se causal. 

 

(FOR OTHER READERS: the fact that composite entities are made of constituents which are separable and may have different properties does not in any way affect the reasoning above.  An entity's identity being indivisible in reality is not the same as the false claim that a composition is not physically divisible into its constituents, which I am not claiming.  The fact that a composite entity is made of constituents is PART of its identity, it is a fact about what the entity IS which we can identify.  Indivisibility of identity here (for a composite entity made of constituents) would mean one cannot separate the identity of the composite entity from the fact that it is made of constituents, we can abstract that away and conceptualize it as a property itself, but the fact that it has constituents is not a fact separate from its identity.)

 

Edited by StrictlyLogical

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SL, what about the case of hot sand at the beach? It seems sensible to say the hotness of the sand burned my feet. I could say the sand burned my feet, but it would be understood that it was heat of the sand that did the burning.

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13 hours ago, StrictlyLogical said:

We have isolated and abstracted away a "fractional nature" of an entity's identity (which in reality is indivisible, whole), namely, its causal power, but we have not identified anything separate, or distinct in reality.

Building on this per my above example regarding a bowing pin, what "fractional nature" causes the pin to act the way that it does?  Is it it's form, mass, the coefficient of friction of it's base, the modulus of elasticity of the wood, it's center of gravity, the temperature of the room and pin?  How does it's behavior change over time?  Does material fatigue impact behavior after so many repeated blows?  Does accumulate floor wax change it's behavior?  How does it's behavior change with the mass of the bowling ball?  Is there a minimum acceptable mass for a pin relative to the range of regulation bowling ball weights?

If we are trying to develop a new material for a bowling pin then we might set up many different empirical tests using dedicated instruments to determine how a change in one or two variables might impact the pin's performance- relative to some external, pre-established acceptable range of behavior.  Each test of each mechanical property is mutually exclusive.  It is impossible to model (even with computers) how a variation of 12 of 24 variables will impact the behavior of the pin.  This is due to the in-communicability of the different domains of the different Mechanics involved in each test.   Empirical testing is the only way to determine which "fractional" characteristic "governs".

Edited by New Buddha

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SL said:

Quote

This is fascinating.

Yes, and it is to your credit that you noticed this confusion relating to fundamentals of Oist metaphysics. Do you see how this philosophical error can be a foothold for upside down-inverted premises about the hierarchal relations of philosophy to physics?

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On ‎27‎/‎02‎/‎2016 at 9:20 PM, Boydstun said:

SL, what about the case of hot sand at the beach? It seems sensible to say the hotness of the sand burned my feet. I could say the sand burned my feet, but it would be understood that it was heat of the sand that did the burning.

"Sensible to say" of course.  The fact that the sand was hot enough to burn your feet is captured by characterizing the amount of heat energy in the sand in terms of the concept hotness.  I am having difficulty not with identification of different properties of an entity and hence different behaviors or effects it can cause, but the identification of the property itself as the casual agent.  I can only bring myself to see it as a distinguishing characteristic of an agent which helps us to understand the kinds of effects that agent causes, not as possibly being an agent itself... which seems to be what is implied by holding properties to be the "seat" of causal efficacy. 

Unfortunately for heat and hotness I already know too much about the fact that it is a property of the motions of the constituent particles of an entity, and that those motions are transferred to other constituent particles of a second entity is all too clear... this seems like the entity's identity (although complicated and "constitutory") is the causal agent...

In the case of a fundamental particle for example, the electron has a charge which causes repulsion with other electrons, since I cannot separate charge from an electron's identity I do not know why I would think of the electron's charge as a seat of its repulsive power... 

perhaps the differences in our thinking do not have any consequences in reality or knowledge... but something tells me it is not an insignificant difference.

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8 minutes ago, Plasmatic said:

SL said:

Yes, and it is to your credit that you noticed this confusion relating to fundamentals of Oist metaphysics. Do you see how this philosophical error can be a foothold for upside down-inverted premises about the hierarchal relations of philosophy to physics?

I have not thought about it long enough Plasmatic! 

Independent from anything regarding this thread or this forum, from my stint in physics I know too well how in the minds of many physicists, abstractions become refied, equations and mathematics become the actual cause of existence if not existents themselves, math constitutes actual laws the universe literally follows etc. but I observe that most Objectivists grow out of such rationalism and Platonism.

       

 

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14 minutes ago, StrictlyLogical said:

"Sensible to say" of course.  The fact that the sand was hot enough to burn your feet is captured by characterizing the amount of heat energy in the sand in terms of the concept hotness.  I am having difficulty not with identification of different properties of an entity and hence different behaviors or effects it can cause, but the identification of the property itself as the casual agent.  I can only bring myself to see it as a distinguishing characteristic of an agent which helps us to understand the kinds of effects that agent causes, not as possibly being an agent itself... which seems to be what is implied by holding properties to be the "seat" of causal efficacy. 

Seems to me that it's more like how we'd talk about volition. The seat of man's causal power is his volition. Volition is not an entity at all, but we'd still talk about volition as a capacity with specific features. Yes, as Boydstun said, an entity is required for causality, a property has to be embodied somehow. It's easy to remember that there will not be bodyless volition, but once we start talking about human action, we'd be talking about volition as a causal power. That is, it's possible to talk about an entity more narrowly in terms of specific causal features without dropping the context that a property is embodied. It's not the case that your heartbeat caused you to choose to go to France on vacation, so it's not the case that all of yourself caused you to act. Rather, your volition caused it, and we already know there'd be no volition without a body. Similarly, choosing to go to France didn't itself cause your heartbeat.

Boydstun, I welcome any corrections, this is just how I interpret your idea.

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52 minutes ago, StrictlyLogical said:

I am having difficulty not with identification of different properties of an entity and hence different behaviors or effects it can cause, but the identification of the property itself as the casual agent.  I can only bring myself to see it as a distinguishing characteristic of an agent which helps us to understand the kinds of effects that agent causes, not as possibly being an agent itself... which seems to be what is implied by holding properties to be the "seat" of causal efficacy.

Boystun's example was fairly trivial.  Suppose you are engineer designing a new internal combustion engine, and are having trouble controlling the temperature to maximize efficiency.  Do you doubt that you will eventually identify the cause(s) of the overheating, and find a solution?

Physicists seem to always get trapped in Reductionism.  Trying to get at a "Thing-in-Itself".  If you want something done, ask an Engineer B).

Edited by New Buddha

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SL, another everyday example, one in contrast to the hot-sand/burning-feet case, is the sensibleness of saying "A bit of grit in my eye is irritating it." In this case, we think firstly of the entity (grit) as cause. We don't go on ordinarily to think about what might be the features of the grit and the eye that may result in irritation. We'd probably have to do some reading to find out what features of the grit and eye make the result. Were we to find solidity and size of the grit were factors in the irritation, these would be necessary attributes of grit, whereas the burning heat of the beach sand is not an essential attribute (except as potential) of beach sand. And we know, as a man ten thousand years would know, that the beach sand can be hot or not. I think all of common experience and all our established modern science need to constrain and inform what we affirm or deny in framing our best metaphysics.

Another example in which we would think first and most naturally of a feature of an entity as the cause of an effect would be cases of centrifugal force, as when a child is thrown from a merry-go-round. As ever there an entity bearing the feature, the rotation and the force, but there's nothing wrong in, it's perfectly square, to say the centrifugal force threw the child.

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I think I understand other posters positions on this matter.  It is all well and good that one can speak and in fact perform engineering thinking of things in the way you all seem to imply.

I simply do not, take properties, attributes, or relationships, as a matter of fact, causal agents.  I hold "property" (etc.) as such, as our identification of entities' particular exhibition of its agency.

 

I suppose I am in the minority on the issue.  

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48 minutes ago, StrictlyLogical said:

I simply do not, take properties, attributes, or relationships, as a matter of fact, causal agents.  I hold "property" (etc.) as such, as our identification of entities' particular exhibition of its agency.

But what a causal -agent- is sounds like a different question. I'd say a causal agent is an identification of what embodies a property or action. So while volition causes me to go to France, volition is not an agent. The agent would always be an entity or object.

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SL said:

 

Quote

I suppose I am in the minority on the issue

 

But you are in good company! Kaladin's question is answered in spades in the appendix to ITOE. Ms. Rand's comments in the sections on primary/secondary qualities and constituent vs dispositional properties are highly relevant here.

Consider especially the conversation surrounding these comments.

 

Quote

AR: You are making an artificial dichotomy. Why divide properties into two categories, first of all?

 

Quote

AR: It’s totally wrong. Professor F is entirely right to bring it up in connection with my statement on causality from Galt‘s speech‘ Because actions are caused by entities, and therefore if you divide properties into dispositional properties vs. other properties, you’ve already denied the law of causality.  

 

A grain of sands potential or capacity to burn the skin of a foot exposed stroller is no less  a result of an aspect of the entity than its solidity or surface texture. The cognitive isolation of the relevant attributes pertaining to temperature are held as an epistemological device performed by abstraction. The "essential" attributes isolated, the range of measurements chosen, are held in abstraction. 

 

Entities ARE their attributes exactly in the same way that "Existence IS Identity".  In fact, in metaphysical, causal context, "to be, is to be an entity".

 

Edited by Plasmatic

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30 minutes ago, Eiuol said:

But what a causal -agent- is sounds like a different question. I'd say a causal agent is an identification of what embodies a property or action. So while volition causes me to go to France, volition is not an agent. The agent would always be an entity or object.

For Objectivism, if its a cause, its an entity. There are no non-agent causes. The differentiation is useless.

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1 hour ago, Plasmatic said:

For Objectivism, if its a cause, its an entity. There are no non-agent causes. The differentiation is useless.

Well, I'd appreciate an explanation of that point besides the ITOE appendix, like a talk by Peikoff or essay by Rand or paper by some other Objectivist scholar. Absolutely, a cause must involve an entity, and a cause is always a result of an entity's nature. There is no such thing as a cause belonging to a non-agent. That doesn't mean we can't call volition (a property) a cause, and if entities are the only causes, it sounds like we'd end up with reductionism, i.e. volition isn't "really" a cause of my behavior, only the neurons are. 

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Louie said:

 

Quote

Well, I'd appreciate an explanation of that point besides the ITOE appendix, like a talk by Peikoff or essay by Rand or paper by some other Objectivist scholar.

 

Well, I dont understand why you think ITOE isn't sufficient but you can find Dr. Peikoff discussing this point in the 1976 lectures around 64 min into lecture 2. You can find Greg Salmiari discussing Ms. Rand's distinction on what a "faculty" is in relation to a conscious entities properties whereby said entity has the abilities it does cognitively in Objectivist Epistemology in Outline. You can find Dr. Peikoff discussing nearly the same things from the 1976 lectures in OPAR.

This is not about merely how one talks colloquially with non technical language but about the Oist metaphysical principle of causality and the claim that it is somehow deficient or overstated ( along with the nonsensical claim that special, derivative knowledge can correct general self evident knowledge.) 

 

edit:

Louie said:

 

Quote

and if entities are the only causes, it sounds like we'd end up with reductionism, i.e. volition isn't "really" a cause of my behavior, only the neurons are.

 

This does not follow at all. You are the cause of your behavior. You, as an indivisible whole, posses the faculty of volition. That a faculty is made possible by physical properties possessed by an entity does not justify the elevation of a metaphysical principle that sunders the men into separate metaphysical categories of causal agency.

Edited by Plasmatic

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