phil001notesWeek12

phil001notesWeek12 - Dr Mcs Philosophy 001 (1091) Lecture...

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1091001week12#2 © 1 Dr Mc’s Philosophy 001 (1091) Lecture Notes, Week 12 © Choosing your courses for next term: Why philosophy? Why anything? Intrinsic and extrinsic reasons www.sfu.ca/philosophy Causation Explicit vs Implicit Causal Statements Statements that use the word “cause” (or a close variant) are explicitly causal statements. For example: 1. Not studying caused Su-Feh to fail. 2. The recent rains caused flooding. 3. Running regularly causes increased aerobic capacity. Some statements express causal statements without using the word “cause” in any form. These are implicitly causal statements . For example: 4. The use of marijuana leads to the use of cocaine. 5. I shot the sheriff. 6. Out of sight, out of mind. In reconstructing causal arguments, causal statements should be made explicit. (first attempts) 4a. The use of marijuana causes the use of cocaine. 5a. I caused the shooting of the sheriff. My firing the gun caused the sheriff to be shot? 6a. Being out of sight (or not available) causes one to be forgotten (or not thought of). Singular and General Causal Statements Recall the distinction between tokens and types. Tokens are single items; Types are categories of things. Singular causal statements involve tokens, i.e., particulars. This car crash was caused by the driver going too fast. General causal statements involve types of things: Driving too fast causes car crashes.
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1091001week12#2 © 2 A hint: if it makes sense to ask “when did this happen?”, you are dealing with a singular causal statement. We are going to focus on general causal statements . What sorts of things cause other sorts of things? Events and Objects as Causes What are the “causal relata”? I.e., what sorts of things are eligible to fill the variables in the following sort of sentence?: C causes E . We might, speaking loosely, say that, for example, broken glass causes cut feet. Objects themselves are not causes. Events are. So, in this case, the better way to phrase things is: stepping on broken glass causes the cutting of feet. Immediate and Distant Causes Causes that occur immediately prior to their effects are “ immediate ” or “proximal” causes. Causes that occur well prior to their effects are “ distant ” or “remote” causes. causal chain ”. For example:
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phil001notesWeek12 - Dr Mcs Philosophy 001 (1091) Lecture...

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