Page 4 - The Logic of Causation
P. 4


The Logic of Causation is a treatise of formal logic and of aetiology. It is an original and
wide-ranging investigation of the definition of causation (deterministic causality) in all its
forms, and of the deduction and induction of such forms. The work was carried out in three
phases over a dozen years (1998-2010), each phase introducing more sophisticated
methods than the previous to solve outstanding problems. This study was intended as part
of a larger work on causal logic, which additionally treats volition and allied cause-effect
relations (2004).
The Logic of Causation deals with the main technicalities relating to reasoning about
causation. Once all the deductive characteristics of causation in all its forms have been
treated, and we have gained an understanding as to how it is induced, we are able to
discuss more intelligently its epistemological and ontological status. In this context, past
theories of causation are reviewed and evaluated (although some of the issues involved
here can only be fully dealt with in a larger perspective, taking volition and other aspects of
causality into consideration, as done in Volition and Allied Causal Concepts).

Phase I: Macroanalysis. Starting with the paradigm of causation, its most obvious and
strongest form, we can by abstraction of its defining components distinguish four genera of
causation, or generic determinations, namely: complete, partial, necessary and contingent
causation. When these genera and their negations are combined together in every which
way, and tested for consistency, it is found that only four species of causation, or specific
determinations, remain conceivable. The concept of causation thus gives rise to a number
of positive and negative propositional forms, which can be studied in detail with relative
ease because they are compounds of conjunctive and conditional propositions whose
properties are already well known to logicians.

The logical relations (oppositions) between the various determinations (and their
negations) are investigated, as well as their respective implications (eductions). Thereafter,
their interactions (in syllogistic reasoning) are treated in the most rigorous manner. The
main question we try to answer here is: is (or when is) the cause of a cause of something
itself a cause of that thing, and if so to what degree? The figures and moods of positive
causative syllogism are listed exhaustively; and the resulting arguments validated or
invalidated, as the case may be. In this context, a general and sure method of evaluation
called ‘matricial analysis’ (macroanalysis) is introduced. Because this (initial) method is
cumbersome, it is used as little as possible – the remaining cases being evaluated by means
of reduction.

Phase II: Microanalysis. Seeing various difficulties encountered in the first phase, and the
fact that some issues were left unresolved in it, a more precise method is developed in the
second phase, capable of systematically answering most outstanding questions. This
improved matricial analysis (microanalysis) is based on tabular prediction of all logically
conceivable combinations and permutations of conjunctions between two or more items
   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9