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Causality For Someone who Doesn't Get it!

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3 hours ago, Grames said:

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.

1

Go on, we're getting somewhere

causality applies to concretes

means what in this context? As opposed to what?

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2 hours ago, StrictlyLogical said:

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.

2

I will grant you that causes exist, no matter if we discover them or not.

I don't understand "in the end (and all along) the cause was not of an inductive or statistical type".

 

 

 

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7 hours ago, Eiuol said:

Existing is an aspect of a thing's identity

Existing is not an aspect of a thing's identity. By making this claim, you are starting with something  existing (identity) and then you're adding to it an extra feature, 'existing,' to complement its other features.

Existence is not an action, a property or a feature, it is the action, property or feature - and anything else that constitutes the universe. Existence is identity.

When you say that something doesn't exist, you don't mean that something (existing in a state of existential limbo) is not engaged in the action of existing. What you mean is that it actually isn't there.

7 hours ago, Eiuol said:

your reasoning suggests that, metaphysically speaking, existing, acting, and identity are not simultaneous.

Existing, acting and identity are abstractions. They can only be separated by a conceptual mind, as they are simultaneous metaphysically.

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6 hours ago, Easy Truth said:

I will grant you that causes exist, no matter if we discover them or not.

I don't understand "in the end (and all along) the cause was not of an inductive or statistical type".

 

 

 

A cause is not deductive, inductive, or statistical.  Deduction, induction, and statistics are mental tools, not aspects of things nor the causal connections of things.  Our attempt to understand a cause might initially depend upon one or more of these and the evidence of the senses but ultimately the causes simply exist. 

Sorry for nitpicking: my point is that object/referent of the concept/term "cause" is not our method of thinking about or determining causes, which was implied in one of your previous posts, EDIT which I see now was corrected in a subsequent post when you state you are talking about how we determine causes not what they are.

I would also suggest that the particular method by which me might scientifically determine causal connections, when various methods are involved, it is more than likely a historical and technological oddity  which determines this, depending greatly upon which kinds of science and technology (the very small, the very large, chemical, biological, imaging, sensors, laser measurement, etc.) are at our disposal.

There are no fundamental differences between the "kinds" of causes, only how advanced or primitive we happen to be in the science and technology of the realm of each cause.

Edited by StrictlyLogical

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4 hours ago, KyaryPamyu said:

Existing is not an aspect of a thing's identity. By making this claim, you are starting with something  existing (identity) and then you're adding to it an extra feature, 'existing,' to complement its other features.

That's an error in my phrasing then, it doesn't capture what I was thinking well. I shouldn't say "aspect of". I mean to say there are things doing existing, that to exist also means to act. When something  doesn't exist, it also means nothing is doing existing. Not that there is no thing to act, but there is no thing AND no action as action and existing are inseperable. 

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8 minutes ago, Eiuol said:

to exist also means to act.

Yes, agreed.

10 minutes ago, Eiuol said:

there are things doing existing

This is not the same thing at all.

Existing is not an action or quality, it is a concept meant to help us distinguish between what is actually out there and what isn't.

If you use existence to refer to that which is (as opposed to that which isn't), existence is every entity, every trait, every action, every doing. You don't do existing. Existence is the doing.

To see what I mean more clearly, contrast 'existence is an action' with 'existence is the action' - substituting 'action' with any specific kind of action that you can think of.

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Regarding the definition of "cause", not causality:

To most "initiator" means cause.

To go deeper, the cause is the factor (if there is one) or factors that are necessary and sufficient for a change to happen. (this definition implies that "existing" is not an action)

Without this factor or factors, the change will not happen.

The problem I have is that this factor can be determined to be an identity, an attribute, an action, an entity. It can be any existent, self-sufficient or not.

Now, I said, "can be determined to be".

The heat of the sand can be determined to be the cause of your burning.

The speed of your car caused the loss of control.

The brightness of the sun caused the closing of the eyes.

When I say Identify the entity involved, I sometimes get, I did not mean no entities were involved, and others don't mean it either. This is just an easy way to say it.

But it can be used in practice. You watch the speed of your car to not go above a certain amount. Focusing on that specific aspect. Forgetting that an entity is involved.

You don't get rid of the sand, you put slippers on so the heat does not hurt you.

In trying to understand the significance of using the entity as the cause, I am starting to think that these explanations are to show "what really is happening" rather than what is easy to communicate is happening.

The bottom line is that "the nature of an entity causes its action" requires an entity to be the cause. The "existent that is necessary and sufficient for a change to exist" is a different definition and a broader one. I don't see it being invalid. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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On 9/8/2017 at 5:00 PM, StrictlyLogical said:

The law of causation is not a definition of causation.  It is a limitation or a condition for it.

I now realized the significance of that statement.

I thought causality meant causation.

Causing is the action, causality is the limitation on the action.

The basis for why reality is not chaos.

(I notice that I have to go through the thread repeatedly to understand some of the key concepts)

Edited by Easy Truth

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25 minutes ago, Easy Truth said:

I now realized the significance of that statement.

I thought causality meant causation.

Causing is the action, causality is the limitation on the action.

The basis for why reality is not chaos.

(I notice that I have to go through the thread repeatedly to understand some of the key concepts)

That is not my intended significance.

As far as I am concerned the "law" is applicable to "causation", "causes", "causality", actions by entities (all actions), and entities that act (all entities ... sometime), interaction, change, reactions, results, effects, outcomes... etc. etc. etc. it matters not what particular term was used to entitle it.

Perhaps it is easier to consider the law from the perspective of the result or effect or outcome.  The law of causality means that any result, effect, or outcome is due to the nature of the entities participating to produce that result, effect, or outcome and that result, effect, or outcome  must be consistent with those natures.

Rather than get into a language game, I take each of these (result, effect, outcome) to be synonymous and indicative of the broad concept, in this context, of the end state after some process occurs involving entities.

Edited by StrictlyLogical

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7 minutes ago, StrictlyLogical said:

That is not my intended significance.

As far as I am concerned the "law" is applicable to "causation", "causes", "causality", actions by entities (all actions), and entities that act (all entities ... sometime), interaction, change, reactions... etc. etc. etc. it matters not what particular term was used to entitle it.

Yes, the application of the law applies to any cause or effect etc.

It would be highly appreciated if you gave a definition of what the word "cause" means. What is your definition of "cause"?
 

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Just now, Easy Truth said:

Yes, the application of the law applies to any cause or effect etc.

It would be highly appreciated if you gave a definition of what the word "cause" means. What is your definition of "cause"?
 

That depends on the context.  English uses include the things which are involved in a process, those things which were present in their states prior to the process, being the "causes".  English also uses "cause" as a term denoting the process itself... the things in their states prior to the process "cause" the process and also the end states and things after the process.  The term cause also denotes a temporal relationship of necessity, the things present in their first state caused the process to occur, the processed occurring caused the things in their end states... BUT FOR A, B would not have occurred, i.e. A is in relation to B as its cause.

Really cause is just a label for the entities, the actions they take,  and relationships they have... in reality

A is A and B is B and in the context, A and B interact, and C results.

C can be A and B in different states, or a destroyed A or B or something neither A nor B, all of it would be in accordance with the nature of the entities.

If your subconscious starts to look for it... there is not cause for causation.

 

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3 hours ago, StrictlyLogical said:

Really cause is just a label for the entities, the actions they take,  and relationships they have... in reality

I assume you mean causation not "cause". 

Isn't the key component of "cause", its necessity? That it is necessary.

If something is not necessary, then it can never be a cause.

Edited by Easy Truth

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18 hours ago, Easy Truth said:

Go on, we're getting somewhere

causality applies to concretes

means what in this context? As opposed to what?

Abstractions vs. concretes : "Abstractions as such do not exist: they are merely man’s epistemological method of perceiving that which exists—and that which exists is concrete."

Abstractions are man-made and can be wrong.  Concretes cannot be wrong because they are the standard of what is right or wrong.

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33 minutes ago, Easy Truth said:

I assume you mean causation not "cause". 

Isn't the key component of "cause", its necessity? That it is necessary.

If something is not necessary, then it can never be a cause.

As long as there is any contribution to the outcome a something can be one of the causes.  

I'm not sure what you mean by necessity. Something either interacts or acts or it simply doesn't... can you explain necessity?

IF you mean something extra acting to make things happen I would suggest using Rand's razor... if by necessity  you are simply restating the law of identity as applied to action ... then yes.  Water dissolves sugar at room temperature because ... water dissolves sugar at room temperature!  It happens because of what they are ... a fact being a law implies a kind of necessity ... an identification that reality does not depart from it... I.e. It is necessary that things act according to their natures.  But this is not some additional thing added onto the law causality it is merely a way of expressing  it.

 

Edited by StrictlyLogical

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51 minutes ago, StrictlyLogical said:

As long as there is any contribution to the outcome a something can be one of the causes.  

When you say it that way, it could mean that the "cause" may or may not contribute. I am saying a cause will contribute otherwise, it is not a cause.

In that sense, it is necessary.

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11 hours ago, KyaryPamyu said:

If you use existence to refer to that which is (as opposed to that which isn't), existence is every entity, every trait, every action, every doing. You don't do existing. Existence is the doing.

Existence, i.e., all that is, is a different concept than "to exist". Existence exists isn't one concept repeated - it is two separate concepts. This is relevant to the OP as far as that existing and identity are bound together, neither one precedes the other. Action doesn't depend on a thing existing, nor does a thing existing depend on action. That's how "existence is identity" makes any sense.As long as we know that anything exists is necessarily acting, it's not hard to say each thing that exists in relation to another thing is a cause. 

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1 hour ago, Easy Truth said:

When you say it that way, it could mean that the "cause" may or may not contribute. I am saying a cause will contribute otherwise, it is not a cause.

In that sense, it is necessary.

The weight of three coins combine to squish a fly... if two would have been sufficient... is the presence of the other one necessary?  If not, did one coin not cause the fly to be squished?  If the coins are each the exact same weight and any one of them was unnecessary are all of them equally unnecessary?

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OK just to follow up, and to explain why you're getting some pushback from me on this consider the following statement:

 Electrons have an electrostatic charge and act to repel  other electrons.

Keeping in mind the referents of this statement, electrons, and the fact that they do have a negative electric charge, and the fact that they act to repel each other, how would the meaning of the statement, the meaning relevant, valid, and true in its reference to reality, be improved by the addition of the term "necessary"?  Is your statement of reality more accurate if you state a thing "necessarily" has identity or that it "necessarily" has a property (as opposed to stating the fact that it simply is what it is and has that propery).  Is your statement of reality more accurate when you state an electron "necessarily" repels other electrons or "necessarily" acts in accordance with its nature (as opposed to merely stating electrons act to repel other electrons... period)?

The invocation of "necessity" is redundant (pardon the pun but entirely unnecessary) when the law of identity and the law of causality are fully embraced.

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@Easy Truth

Another paragraph from page 24 of Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand

A fact is "necessary" if its nonexistence would involve a contradiction. To put the point positively: a fact that obtains "by necessity" is one that obtains "by identity." Given the nature of existence, this is the status of every (metaphysically given) fact. Nothing more is required to ground necessity.

Between StrictlyLogical's concrete example (delivered via abstractions [here]) and Grames raising the fact that abstractions are man-made [here], parsing the man-made linguistic expressions for their corresponding concrete counterparts, you might benefit from reviewing or familiarizing yourself with "The Metaphysical Versus The Man-Made" in Philosophy: Who Needs It? or The Ayn Rand Letter, Vol. II, No. 12 & 13, as an additional sidebar.

Incidentally, I think the citation I provided essentially restates StrictlyLogical's point, only much more abstractly.

 

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2 hours ago, StrictlyLogical said:

The weight of three coins combine to squish a fly... if two would have been sufficient... is the presence of the other one necessary?  If not, did one coin not cause the fly to be squished?  If the coins are each the exact same weight and any one of them was unnecessary are all of them equally unnecessary?

Interesting question but I don't know how to answer it.

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1 hour ago, StrictlyLogical said:

OK just to follow up, and to explain why you're getting some pushback from me on this consider the following statement:

 Electrons have an electrostatic charge and act to repel  other electrons.

Keeping in mind the referents of this statement, electrons, and the fact that they do have a negative electric charge, and the fact that they act to repel each other, how would the meaning of the statement, the meaning relevant, valid, and true in its reference to reality, be improved by the addition of the term "necessary"?  Is your statement of reality more accurate if you state a thing "necessarily" has identity or that it "necessarily" has a property (as opposed to stating the fact that it simply is what it is and has that propery).  Is your statement of reality more accurate when you state an electron "necessarily" repels other electrons or "necessarily" acts in accordance with its nature (as opposed to merely stating electrons act to repel other electrons... period)?

The invocation of "necessity" is redundant (pardon the pun but entirely unnecessary) when the law of identity and the law of causality are fully embraced.

Yes, it is redundant.

But I do appreciate the example.

I can see the technique used to emphasize something by being redundant. The statement is still true, not more accurate, but just as true. And from an educational standpoint, you end up emphasizing something that you wanted your student/audience to pay attention to. It could be another way of saying the same thing and highlighting causal connections.

But, I agree that if it is used everywhere and every time, then it becomes redundant without any redeeming qualities. It becomes waste.

 

 

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, StrictlyLogical said:

The invocation of "necessity" is redundant (pardon the pun but entirely unnecessary) when the law of identity and the law of causality are fully embraced.

 

One can embrace the law of causality and identity, but without knowing the entire picture, one would have to see each relationship to put together the entire picture.

 

It is like you see the whole picture and the relationships are there to see. One who does not see all the relationships could ask "what necessitates an electron to twirl like that?". If the question is answered by "A is A", I don't think that much communication took place.

I think the respondent will say, this is required for that to happen until all the requirements are explained. Then perhaps they can get to the point of describing the system and knowing the cause and effects implicitly. Then you just know how it works, you know what it is i.e. you know its identity and the causality.

 

 

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2 hours ago, dream_weaver said:

a fact that obtains "by necessity" is one that obtains "by identity."

I don't understand what the word "obtains" means in the context. Obtains what?


 

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4 hours ago, Easy Truth said:

I don't understand what the word "obtains" means in the context. Obtains what?
 

A fact. A fact that obtains (is gotten, is acquired, grasped, realized, procured, understood) "by necessity" is [a fact] that obtains (is gotten, is acquired, grasped, realized, procured, understood) "by identity."

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7 hours ago, Easy Truth said:

you just know how it works, you know what it is i.e. you know its identity and the causality.

Yes.  The philosophical aspect of this, is that wholly independently of when you know the whole story, or whether you ever know it, reality itself never departed from identity and causality.

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