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Causality For Someone who Doesn't Get it!

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14 hours ago, KyaryPamyu said:

No. If 'existing' was a type of action, actions would hold metaphysical primacy. In other words, first there would be the platonic form of action, from which its numerous manifestations (including 'existing') would spring.

But actions can't have metaphysical primacy. Let's say for a moment that existing is a type of action. But what is the most fundamental thing you can say about action? That it exists

Entities that exist, act. Entities that do not exist, do not act.

If I follow you correctly, this is still a problem. You are saying that there are first things that exist that don't necessarily act. However, by virtue of existing, they will inevitably act. In this way, actions are attributes that "hang onto" entities and those actions are only there as a consequence (or "by accident"). It's the reverse of platonic action you described: a platonic form of existence, from which numerous actions will spring.

I know somewhere in ITOE Rand commented on that idea, namely to say it's wrong. I'll find it for you. The point was along the lines of what Grames said above. I see this as existence and identity are the same thing essentially, and inseparable. If something exists, that means it is acting, always. Simultaneously. 

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29 minutes ago, Easy Truth said:

The glass (entity / cause) with attribute (collision by rock) shatters (action / effect).

The window pane shattered when the rock struck it.

It could have been the hurricane winds that blew the window out, or a bullet from a gun, or the pressure of a ladder leaned against it when someone tried to climb the latter, or it shattered when the soprano reached and sustained a high C during her solo. Regardless of the process leading to the window breaking, the window pane shattered, broke, splintered, broke into shards.

Arguably the window pane would not have shattered had the other processes been not been in play, but without the window pane to perform the actual shattering, the other processes would have simply resulted in the actions the other entities performed.

 

Edited by dream_weaver
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10 minutes ago, Easy Truth said:

Thank you, now is there any relationship with the person who threw it?

Yes. He was administered several stitches in his throwing arm, after the medical team removed a shard of the former window pane from the wound.

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27 minutes ago, dream_weaver said:

Yes. He was administered several stitches in his throwing arm, after the medical team removed a shard of the former window pane from the wound.

LOL.

To confirm, there was no causal relationship between him and breaking the glass.

He did not break the glass.

 

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43 minutes ago, Easy Truth said:

LOL.

To confirm, there was no causal relationship between him and breaking the glass.

He did not break the glass.

 

To stay true to form, if you read between the lines, that should be structured as:

To confirm, there was no causal relationship between him and the glass breaking.

Let's not quibble about the spaces between the letters.

Edited by dream_weaver

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43 minutes ago, dream_weaver said:

To stay true to form, if you read between the lines, that should be structured as:

To confirm, there was no causal relationship between him and the glass breaking.

Let's not quibble about the spaces between the letters.

That was funny too but seriously, I suspect that I am wrong. That is why I am asking the question.

My understanding is that to say that the person broke the glass is not correct because only the glass can break the glass. That, of course, does not make sense to me but that is where my confusion lies.

 

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3 minutes ago, Easy Truth said:

My understanding is that to say that the person broke the glass is not correct because only the glass can break the glass. That, of course, does not make sense to me but that is where my confusion lies.

At which point you should be/are back to the basic expression: The law of causality is the law of identity applied to action.

To quibble here is to isolate "only the glass can break the glass". I would leave it as "only the glass can break". Hopefully this helps clarify the question you began with. Otherwise you will be left with the question you began with.

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10 hours ago, Eiuol said:

You are saying that there are first things that exist that don't necessarily act.

Nope. I didn't even hint at such an idea. What I said is that existing is not a type of action; rather, action is a type phenomenon that exists.

Things change, move around and interact with each other. Based on this observation, you can form concepts such as movement, interaction etc., and unite them under the concept action. But actions are not platonic entites, they are aspects of a thing's identity. 

Actions are actions of things that exist. Existing is not an action, it is the precondition of action.

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4 hours ago, KyaryPamyu said:

Things change, move around and interact with each other. Based on this observation, you can form concepts such as movement, interaction etc., and unite them under the concept action. But actions are not platonic entites, they are aspects of a thing's identity. 

Actions are actions of things that exist. Existing is not an action, it is the precondition of action.

1


So, the nature of any action has "change" somewhere in there.
Meaning "action" is either a type of change, or a part of change, or contains change

Even when an object moves, its shape (an attribute) may not change but its position (an attribute) is changing. Therefore movement is a change of the object.

Can I say that action is change? as in identical.

If there is no change, there is no action.
 

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7 minutes ago, Easy Truth said:


So, the nature of any action has "change" somewhere in there.
Meaning "action" is either a type of change, or a part of change, or contains change

Even when an object moves, its shape (an attribute) may not change but its position (an attribute) is changing. Therefore movement is a change of the object.

Can I say that action is change? as in identical.

If there is no change, there is no action.
 

How something "acts" or "interacts" may result in no motion... but which absence would result in motion.  Tying how an entity acts or interacts specifically only with a result being movement might be overly narrow.

Consider a support beam acts to support a weight upon it with an equal and opposite force, keeping the weight stationary... removing the beam causes the weight to fall.

Perhaps a little bit of a conflation between causation and action is occurring here.

 

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1 minute ago, StrictlyLogical said:

How something "acts" or "interacts" may result in no motion... but which absence would result in motion.  Tying how an entity acts or interacts specifically only with a result being movement might be overly narrow.

Consider a support beam acts to support a weight upon it with an equal and opposite force, keeping the weight stationary... removing the beam causes the weight to fall.

Perhaps a little bit of a conflation between causation and action is occurring here.

 

Yes, I can see that.

That is why I was asking if the table holding the glass is acting or not.

So acting without change involved, is not just existing. Something is being done even if we can't observe it.

The problem is that one can conclude that with just "being" you are interacting and that something is being done no matter what. Which then I would conclude means that existing/being is an action.

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You see Joe Shmo eat a hamburger and it starts raining.
Several days later you see him eat a hamburger and it rains.
You see this happen a hundred times.

You conclude that raining is an action determined by Joe Shmo's nature.
You don't know what exactly it is yet but it is something about him.
Based on causality, you conclude that another person that looks and acts like Shmo and is like Shmo in every way eats the same type of hamburger at the same place should also cause it to rain.

Is this a valid application of the law of causality?
 

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1 hour ago, Easy Truth said:

Yes, I can see that.

That is why I was asking if the table holding the glass is acting or not.

So acting without change involved, is not just existing. Something is being done even if we can't observe it.

The problem is that one can conclude that with just "being" you are interacting and that something is being done no matter what. Which then I would conclude means that existing/being is an action.

No.  No, this logical leap is a bit too far ....

Existing is not a property of something... it is not somehow in addition to the fact of the thing, the fact that it simply is.  A thing's "is"ness is not separable from the thing... that is what "existence IS identity" means.  Things do not possess being, they simply are.  It follows that the sheer being of something does not interact with other things as if it were a separable property or attribute, the thing interacts with other things, and the manner of acting is determined by its nature.

A thing's acting is a consequence of its nature which is a simple reflection of its existing, if you attempt to smuggle as one of its actions, its sheer being, then you are claiming it has being in consequence of its having a nature which is a reflection of its being... i.e. its being is a consequence of its being... which is senseless and circular.

You might be attempting to literally equate things with their attributes AND actions... but I think this also would be going to far.  I think it remains that actions are a consequence of the entity's nature, its properties and attributes.

 

A strong beam has a certain compressive strength, it acts, in accordance with its nature to hold up a weight.  A weak beam has a different compressive strength, it acts, in accordance with its nature, by crumbling under the weight upon it.

 

Let's keep in mind, philosophy and language are tools to understand reality.  If philosophy or language fail, then the resulting knowledge of reality will contradict reality.  There comes a point where playing with philosophy and language becomes a game detached from reality.  This is most easily identified when the things debated have no consequence whatever in understanding reality.  Always look back to reality and what really is and what really is happening to decide whether the alternative ways of thinking and using language are relevant or immaterial.

 

Edited by StrictlyLogical

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9 minutes ago, Easy Truth said:

You see Joe Shmo eat a hamburger and it starts raining.
Several days later you see him eat a hamburger and it rains.
You see this happen a hundred times.

You conclude that raining is an action determined by Joe Shmo's nature.
You don't know what exactly it is yet but it is something about him.
Based on causality, you conclude that another person that looks and acts like Shmo and is like Shmo in every way eats the same type of hamburger at the same place should also cause it to rain.

Is this a valid application of the law of causality?
 

No.

 

Statistical correlation is a necessary but not sufficient condition for arriving at that conclusion especially when it contradicts all of your knowledge.

Edited by StrictlyLogical

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36 minutes ago, Easy Truth said:

existing/being is an action.

This reminds me of the question, 'why is there something, rather than nothing?'.

Suppose you answered, 'because of factor X'. But if factor X exists, you have not answered anything, because you're trying to figure out what caused everything that exists - including factor X.

Nothing precedes existence. Before we philosophize about action, it must first exist.

 

 

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9 minutes ago, StrictlyLogical said:

No.

 

Statistical correlation is a necessary but not sufficient condition for arriving at that conclusion especially when it contradicts all of your knowledge.

Got it. What about the suspicion, meaning the appropriateness of suspecting. I can see perceptually that the sky rains, Joe eats. Raining is an action of the sky, eating is an action of joe. Joe eats.

Joe's eating can't happen without Joe. (obviously)

Without a sky about me, rain would be caused by a sprinkler system or a shower. So raining requires the sky to rain.

What I can see is that without Joe it can rain. So if Joe did not exist, raining can happen. I assume that is the contradiction you are talking about.

Now if I had never ever seen it rain without having seen Joe eat a hamburger, the suspicion would be justified that there is some causal connection, right?

13 minutes ago, StrictlyLogical said:

Let's keep in mind, philosophy and language are tools to understand reality.  If philosophy or language fail, then the resulting knowledge of reality will contradict reality.  There comes a point where playing with philosophy and language becomes a game detached from reality.  This is most easily identified when the things debated have no consequence whatever in understanding reality.  Always look back to reality and what really is and what really is happening to decide whether the alternative ways of thinking and using language are relevant or immaterial.

1

I agree that I have to watch it with my philosophizing, the problem is that I am hunting and pecking with trial and error to find the essential factors that should put me on the right track. It is hard to know, where NOT to go. I appreciate the fact that you guys are hanging in there. I know it can be tedious.

 

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24 minutes ago, Easy Truth said:

Now if I had never ever seen it rain without having seen Joe eat a hamburger, the suspicion would be justified that there is some causal connection, right?

Actually no.

Knowing that some things in the universe like the sun, the stars, all different kinds of weather,  etc. do not in general have any connection to actions by individuals on Earth, it would be a huge contradiction to assume the rain (a specific kind of weather) is caused by Joe eating a hamburger.

It would be far smarter to assume Joe has an uncanny ability to predict the weather and somehow starts to eat just before it rains... and in fact it might be very smart to think one has lost one's mind... that Joe is a figment of the imagination, a product of a hallucination or hypnotic suggestion... because all of your knowledge tells you it is impossible for Joe to control the weather by eating a hamburger.

 

Luckily I have yet to encounter such an incredible and repeated statistical anomaly.

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Just think of how much of your knowledge, how many things you know, which you would have to "throw out" to accept the premise that there is a causal connection between Joe eating a hamburger and it raining.

- The nature of humans, the limits of the nervous system, the absence of biological radio transmission, the nature of matter and energy

- The nature of water, clouds, condensation, rain, the atmosphere

- Chemistry, biology, physics, and their processes and causal connections.

Now in giving up all of your knowledge of the nature of things, you have in essence rejected and repudiated everything that validly led you to that original knowledge:

evidence, causation, perception, thinking, conceptualization, and knowledge itself... and many more

 

When faced with this... one cannot simply accept such a conclusion... it requires verification and an investigation into every one of the above... or better yet, some creative thinking to figure out what really is going on.

 

Ditching everything is not the most effective way to address a specific anomaly.

 

Edited by StrictlyLogical

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33 minutes ago, StrictlyLogical said:

Ditching everything is not the most effective way to address a specific anomaly.

Well said and Agreed.

I seem to see an overall pattern regarding causality. There seem to be two definitions of cause.
The common thing between both definitions is that cause is necessary and sufficient entity for an effect to exist.
One is based on deduction, an action is caused by nature of an entity.
The other causation seems to be through induction and has "time" involved. Statistically demonstrated.

First of all, am I right. I think I am. So I will ask the next question, is there a name difference between the two?
I would like to use different wording for each if possible.
 

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1 hour ago, StrictlyLogical said:

Causality is a feature of reality not a feature or species of logic.

 

 

I don't deny that, but we conceptualize reality with different species of logic.

 

 

A is A is not complete.

A is A at the same time and in the same way.

Same way also includes your way of thinking about it which has to be the same or A may not end up being A.

I am talking about the way we come up with it, rather than what it is.

It seems to me that when one is finding a "cause", they do it in two ways.

1. They see it as part of the identity of an entity. A rolling ball is a "rolling" ball.

2. They find it based on a statistical anomaly based on experimenting with identical events and changing one factor to see a change in the area that they call the effect.

 

 

 

 

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15 minutes ago, Easy Truth said:

2. They find it based on a statistical anomaly based on experimenting with identical events and changing one factor to see a change in the area that they call the effect.

This second method is (hopefully) an attempt to use Mill's methods to find a possible general cause, 'general' in the sense that it is a generalization attributing a new characteristic to a concept; it deals with abstractions.  All particular specific events (such as a Jack throwing a ball, which imparts new energy and momemtum to the ball, which subsequently causes a glass window to shatter when the ball's trajectory intersects with the spatial extension of the window) are instances of causality; causality applies to concretes.

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12 hours ago, KyaryPamyu said:

Nope. I didn't even hint at such an idea. What I said is that existing is not a type of action; rather, action is a type phenomenon that exists.

Things change, move around and interact with each other. Based on this observation, you can form concepts such as movement, interaction etc., and unite them under the concept action. But actions are not platonic entites, they are aspects of a thing's identity. 

Actions are actions of things that exist. Existing is not an action, it is the precondition of action.

Right, which then leads to what I said. Existing as an action as implied by the fact that to be is to do and to do is to be. Existing is an aspect of a thing's identity, as in it exists by virtue of acting. I see how you are saying an action is not itself a thing - but neither is existing. Existing is as tangible as action, as in not at all tangible. Or if you are saying existing is a different phenomena than action and untangible, you would be giving it some unique status.

For sure, there are conceptual distinctions to make. My only quibble is that your reasoning suggests that, metaphysically speaking, existing, acting, and identity are not simultaneous. 

If you still disagree, what is existing then? 

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1 hour ago, Easy Truth said:

I don't deny that, but we conceptualize reality with different species of logic.

 

 

A is A is not complete.

A is A at the same time and in the same way.

Same way also includes your way of thinking about it which has to be the same or A may not end up being A.

I am talking about the way we come up with it, rather than what it is.

It seems to me that when one is finding a "cause", they do it in two ways.

1. They see it as part of the identity of an entity. A rolling ball is a "rolling" ball.

2. They find it based on a statistical anomaly based on experimenting with identical events and changing one factor to see a change in the area that they call the effect.

 

 

 

 

My point is that causes are discoverable, and are what they are independent of our method or level of discovery.  Whether we first directly measure, or take statistical samples, or whether we finally simulate or recreate something, in the end (and all along) the cause was not of an inductive or statistical type.  It is only another fact of reality open to our discovery through any and all methods open to us.

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