Page 11 - The Logic of Causation
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1. Causation.

Causality refers to causal relations, i.e. the relations between causes and effects. This
generic term has various, more specific meanings. It may refer to Causation, which is
deterministic causality; or to Volition, which is (roughly put) indeterministic causality; or
to Influence, which concerns the interactions between causation and volition or between
different volitions.
The term ‘causality’ may also be used to refer to causal issues: i.e. to negative as well as
positive answers to the question “are these things causally related?” In the latter sense,
negations of causality (in the positive sense) are also causality (in the broad sense). This
allows us to consider Spontaneity (i.e. causelessness, the lack of any causation or volition)
as among the ‘causal’ explanations of things.
A study of the field of causality must also include an investigation of non-causality in all
its forms. For, as we shall see, even if we were to consider spontaneity impossible, the
existence of causality in one form or other between things in general does not imply that
any two things taken at random are necessarily causally related or causally related in a
certain way. We need both positive and negative causal propositions to describe the
relations between things.
In the present work, The Logic of Causation, we shall concentrate on causation, ignoring
for now other forms of causality. Causative logic, or the logic of causative propositions,
has three major goals, as does the study of any other type of human discourse.
(a) To define what we mean by causation (or its absence) and identify and classify the
various forms it might take.
(b) To work out the deductive properties of causative propositions, i.e. how they are
opposed to each other (whether or not they contradict each other, and so forth), what
else can be immediately inferred from them individually (eduction), and what can be
inferred from them collectively in pairs or larger numbers (syllogism).
(c) To explain how causative propositions are, to start with, induced from experience, or
constructed from simpler propositions induced from experience.
Once these goals are fulfilled, in a credible manner (i.e. under strict logical supervision),
we shall have a clearer perspective on wider issues, such as (d) whether there is a universal
law of causation (as some philosophers affirm) or spontaneity is conceivable (as others
claim), and (e) whether other forms of causality (notably volition, and its derivative
influence) are conceivable.
Note well, we shall to begin with theoretically define and interrelate the various possible
forms of causation, leaving aside for now the epistemological issue as to how they are to
be identified and established in practice, as well as discussions of ontological status.
We shall thus in the present volume primarily deal with the main technicalities relating to
reasoning about causation, and only later turn our attention to some larger epistemological
and ontological issues (insofar as they can be treated prior to further analysis of the other
forms of causality). The technical aspect may at times seem tedious, but it is impossible to
properly understand causation and its implications without it. Most endless debates about
causation (and more generally, causality) in the history of philosophy have arisen due to
failure to first deal with technical issues.

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