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Easy Truth

Causality For Someone who Doesn't Get it!

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8 hours ago, Easy Truth said:

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

The question is ill formed.  It is asked in a way that implies some entities participation in an interaction do not contribute to a result (when clearly they do) by comparing the interaction to a DIFFERENT interaction that WOULD have resulted in a DIFFERENT result which to a blind unthinking eye is indistinguishable. The implication that the contribution was not required to get the result (as stated) ignores the fact that there was a contribution and there was a different result.

The actual result in reality is that three coins squish a fly faster, and more fully than two coins.  Whatever the result, what participated, participated, and what happened, happened due to what participated.  The result (necessarily) flows from the entities participating.

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11 hours ago, Eiuol said:

Existence exists isn't one concept repeated - it is two separate concepts.

'Existence' is a collective noun, and 'exists' is an adjective, not a verb. As in: existence is vast, existence is varied, existence is real, existence exists.

11 hours ago, Eiuol said:

Existence, i.e., all that is, is a different concept than "to exist".

In the dictionary, 'exist' is classified as a verb. Do you also see it as a verb?

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20 hours ago, StrictlyLogical said:

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

 

Ok, then it seems you reject the above definition of cause. Is that correct? That a "temporal relationship of necessity" does not exist.

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7 hours ago, dream_weaver said:

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."

 


I wonder if the problem is that we are talking from two different contexts or paradigms.

I think I am thinking in a volitional context meaning: Initiating.
Trying to answer: What is the cause?
I think in terms of "what do I need to do to make it happen?"
What has to happen for it to be.
That would be the cause in that context.

But what if I am not in the picture at all.
The cause of what is happening then is, what is happening.
It could not happen any other way.
Why, what causes that?
The fact that the things are the way they are.

Then I shift to Volitional again:
But if I wanted to change it to become red, why should I do to cause it?
Paint it red.
So painting it red would cause it to become red.

Now with context going back and forth:

But what if I were not around.
What causes it to become red.
If something painted it red, it would become red.
But it is red, why is it red.
Because of the pigment on it, because of what it is.
But why is it red?
Because of the pigment.
What necessitated the pigment?
Nothing, that is how it always has been, red pigment causes it to be red.

But from a volitional context, one would say "Painting is the cause of it being red"
(that is what you would have to do)
 

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3 hours ago, Easy Truth said:

Ok, then it seems you reject the above definition of cause. Is that correct? That a "temporal relationship of necessity" does not exist.

"Necessity" is a problematic term but the accepted use of it does capture the law of identity and causality as applied to temporal relationships.  As I said above it's redundant, but it is OK if ALL you mean by it is what you already know from identity and identity applied to action.

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2 hours ago, Easy Truth said:


I wonder if the problem is that we are talking from two different contexts or paradigms.

I think I am thinking in a volitional context meaning: Initiating.
Trying to answer: What is the cause?
I think in terms of "what do I need to do to make it happen?"
What has to happen for it to be.
That would be the cause in that context.

But what if I am not in the picture at all.
The cause of what is happening then is, what is happening.
It could not happen any other way.
Why, what causes that?
The fact that the things are the way they are.

Then I shift to Volitional again:
But if I wanted to change it to become red, why should I do to cause it?
Paint it red.
So painting it red would cause it to become red.

Now with context going back and forth:

But what if I were not around.
What causes it to become red.
If something painted it red, it would become red.
But it is red, why is it red.
Because of the pigment on it, because of what it is.
But why is it red?
Because of the pigment.
What necessitated the pigment?
Nothing, that is how it always has been, red pigment causes it to be red.

But from a volitional context, one would say "Painting is the cause of it being red"
(that is what you would have to do)
 

This makes no sense to me.

Describe a single scenario and I might be able to follow.

Edited by StrictlyLogical

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1 hour ago, StrictlyLogical said:

This makes no sense to me.

Describe a single scenario and I might be able to follow.

Okay, to shorten it, I think “cause”, or “what is the cause?” can be thought of in terms of “what must I do to make it happen?” or “what should one do to create the effect”.

Based on that, the answer is an action, an action that initiates.

In other words, that is how one would cause something. The cause becomes what you would necessarily have to do.

Isn’t this another common definition of “cause”?

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7 hours ago, KyaryPamyu said:

'Existence' is a collective noun, and 'exists' is an adjective, not a verb. As in: existence is vast, existence is varied, existence is real, existence exists.

In the dictionary, 'exist' is classified as a verb. Do you also see it as a verb?

There is a problem with arguing it that way in the sense that I know that "Existence exists" translated to another language can translate to "Existence has existence". I hesitate in making a point based on linguistic aspects.

But if we want to go there, "exists" in "Existence exists" is a verb.
 

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8 minutes ago, Easy Truth said:

Okay, to shorten it, I think “cause”, or “what is the cause?” can be thought of in terms of “what must I do to make it happen?” or “what should one do to create the effect”.

Based on that, the answer is an action, an action that initiates.

In other words, that is how one would cause something. The cause becomes what you would necessarily have to do.

Isn’t this another common definition of “cause”?

You wouldn't happen to be familiar with Aristotle's Four Causes would you?  To review, they are: form, matter, efficient, and final causes.

Causality as I and others have been explaining it is "efficient causation" which is the immediate last thing to touch the object of the action, and what is the identity of a thing inherently includes and refers to both an entity's form and matter (which when you get down to atomic physics are the same thing).  Final causation is the end goal, the "for sake of which" a thing is done.  

You might have purpose in making a green thing into red, so when you do so it is appropriate to say you are the cause of the thing becoming red.  But the efficient cause of the thing becoming red is the paint and the paint brush (or air brush or whatever) that applied it.  In the efficient cause analysis the intermediate steps are singled out, and you (your hand and the whole body indirectly) are the efficient cause of moving the paint and paint brush to apply the paint.

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54 minutes ago, Grames said:

You might have purpose in making a green thing into red, so when you do so it is appropriate to say you are the cause of the thing becoming red.

Intuitively anyone I know would agree with you.

55 minutes ago, Grames said:

You wouldn't happen to be familiar with Aristotle's Four Causes would you?  To review, they are: form, matter, efficient, and final causes.

I know of them, but time will tell how familiar I am.

57 minutes ago, Grames said:

Causality as I and others have been explaining it is "efficient causation" which is the immediate last thing to touch the object of the action, and what is the identity of a thing inherently includes and refers to both an entity's form and matter

I think of cause more in terms of: BUT FOR A, B would not have occurred, i.e. A is in relation to B as its cause. (from StricktlyLogical). To me, it implies there is a necessity. In fact, it is almost obvious to me. Why that is not acknowledged, I don't understand.

I am giving you all the benefit of the doubt that I am to learn something but this is what I see right now.

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, Easy Truth said:

Okay, to shorten it, I think “cause”, or “what is the cause?” can be thought of in terms of “what must I do to make it happen?” or “what should one do to create the effect”.

Based on that, the answer is an action, an action that initiates.

In other words, that is how one would cause something. The cause becomes what you would necessarily have to do.

Isn’t this another common definition of “cause”?

There is nothing here which requires anything additional to what has been discussed above.  I'll bow out now.

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12 hours ago, KyaryPamyu said:

'exists' is an adjective, not a verb

Hmm? It's a verb...

12 hours ago, KyaryPamyu said:

Do you also see it as a verb?

Yeah. This whole tangent was about if "exist" is an action, and I say yes.

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21 minutes ago, Eiuol said:

Hmm? It's a verb...

Yeah. This whole tangent was about if "exist" is an action, and I say yes.

Does existence depend on a specific course of action in order to continue to exist [i.e.: in order to remain in existence?

The tangent is firmly in the province of the man-made.

The existence of inanimate matter is unconditional, the existence of life is not; it depends on a specific course of action. Matter is indestructible, it changes its forms, but it cannot cease to exist.

Or is this another way of saying existence cannot cease to act, i.e.; the law of causality cannot cease to be the law of identity applied to action?

Or: an axiom (or one of it's corollaries) has to be invoked in order to try to deny said axiom (or one of it's corollaries)?

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8 hours ago, Eiuol said:

This whole tangent was about if "exist" is an action, and I say yes.

Is existing a type of action, the same way rolling, flowing, walking and exploding is? In this case, the phenomenon of action must exist before anything engages in the specific action of existing.

If you see 'it exists' not as an action, but as information about something - this cookie is brown, it's made of sugar, it exists (you're not bluffling, there's actually a cookie), then we're on the same page.

Or perhaps you're thinking about living organisms, which act in a goal-directed way in order to preserve their life. But is a cookie also engaged in the action of existing?

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5 hours ago, KyaryPamyu said:

Or perhaps you're thinking about living organisms, which act in a goal-directed way in order to preserve their life. But is a cookie also engaged in the action of existing?

 

So for a living organism, "exists" can mean an adjective or a verb.

A living organism is a specific interaction of entities. Like some are carbon based, some are silicone based but there has to be “whole”/a completeness for it to be alive and to stay alive.

In the case of a non-living entity, it is complete as it is. It does not have to become what it is and it does not have to stay what it is. All it does is to be. But it is not doing anything. If it exists, nothing necessitates its existence, it just is.

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Ayn Rand offers a new formulation of this axiom: existence is identity. She does not say “existence has identity”—which might suggest that identity is a feature separable from existence (as a coat of paint is separable from the house that has it).
Peikoff, Leonard. Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand (Ayn Rand Library) (pp. 6-7)

So, in a sense, existence "has" an inseparable identity. 
Is action inseparable from change? Could one say that "action is change"?

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6 hours ago, Easy Truth said:

So, in a sense, existence "has" an inseparable identity. 

By putting it that way you are, in a sense, deliberately avoiding the point. 

In Aristotle's terms,  no matter can exist without being in some specific form and no form can exist without being matter.  The danger with considering form and matter separately, or with considering existing and identity separately, is the fallacy of reification.   Existence and identity are actually very abstract ideas.  By emphasizing their abstractness I also emphasize that they do not exist because only concretes exist.  Ideas are ways of thinking about what you perceive; it is an error to take a manner of thinking about something and regard it as thing-in-itself instead of as an entirely derivative and logically dependent product of your work to understand some object.  That something exists as opposed to not existing is a thought.  That this exists as opposed to that is another thought.  

The point of statements like "existence exists" and "existence is identity" is to make explicit rules for reasoning.  They are in Rand's philosophy a necessary preface to the law of identity and the law of non-contradiction.

Here is a deliberately shocking paradoxical restatement:

  • Only Concretes exist
  • "Existence" is an abstraction
  • Abstractions do not exist
  • Therefore "Existence" does not exist

What does exist is the concretes, all of them, everywhere at once.  

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16 minutes ago, Grames said:

Here is a deliberately shocking paradoxical restatement:

  • Only Concretes exist
  • "Existence" is an abstraction
  • Abstractions do not exist
  • Therefore "Existence" does not exist

Yes, I just experienced a similar paradox in another thread.

So part of, or an aspect of identity (the identity of something) is the abstractions referring to it? But it is not an attribute like redness or hotness.

Another question, is "existence is" a concrete as opposed to "existence"?

 

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14 hours ago, Easy Truth said:

Yes, I just experienced a similar paradox in another thread.

So part of, or an aspect of identity (the identity of something) is the abstractions referring to it? But it is not an attribute like redness or hotness.

Another question, is "existence is" a concrete as opposed to "existence"?

 

The paradox is only superficial, a result of another logical fallacy: equivocation.  Equivocation is when the the same word is used in two different senses to reach a conclusion.  Existence can be used properly as Rand uses it to refer to all the of particular individual things that exist at once, or it can be used in a reified sense which I signified with the scare quote version "existence".

No, the abstractions we make are attributes of us not of the things out in the world.  That is where the correspondence theory of truth comes in, that it is up to us to make our abstractions conform to the concretes out in the world.

"Existence is" is not a concrete because "existence" is a collective noun but a concrete is singular.  An existent (the word refers to a single thing that exists) can be a concrete.  A relationship is an existent but not a concrete.   (By definition a relationship in the primary sense is between two or more concretes , and then you can note similarities between kinds of relationships in a secondary sense).

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On 9/14/2017 at 6:18 AM, KyaryPamyu said:

Is existing a type of action, the same way rolling, flowing, walking and exploding is?

Not the same way, but similar. It's just the broadest action of all; in a way, it's the abstraction "identity". It's not odd to see the manner of its being as how all its concreteness behaves. As I said before, action can't and doesn't exist before things, and things can't and don't exist before actions.

Your next line doesn't make sense. "is" is the verb "to be", that's still an action. "Brown" is the adjective, not more than information of the cookies attributes that adds to its identity.

 

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