Verification of Causation

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Reply Mon 1 Mar, 2010 12:02 pm
How can you tell if something happened with cause or without cause? In both cases something happened. And causes cannot be observed. So, why do we infer the existence of causes in the first place?

Be careful that you don't confuse "cause" with "pattern" or "regularity". I can observe patterns and regularities. I cannot observe causes.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Thu 4 Mar, 2010 09:33 pm
@Night Ripper,
Night Ripper;134146 wrote:
How can you tell if something happened with cause or without cause? In both cases something happened. And causes cannot be observed. So, why do we infer the existence of causes in the first place?

Be careful that you don't confuse "cause" with "pattern" or "regularity". I can observe patterns and regularities. I cannot observe causes.


You are right! I agree. Hume saw this as well. Kant tried to bluff a comeback. That comeback has been annihilated by Hegel and Wittgenstein. Causality is just a useful prejudice, completely non-logical. Sure, nature does seem to have a structure...who could deny it? But not necessarily the human notion of this structure. It's funny that science is grounded on a fiction, except that many scientists are surely aware that causation is a justified leap of faith.....(for a scientist...a philosopher must dig deeper, just as W & H did......
Quote:


6.362 What can be described can happen too: and what the law of
causality is meant to exclude cannot even be described.


6.363 The procedure of induction consists in accepting as true the
simplest law that can be reconciled with our experiences.


6.3631 This procedure, however, has no logical justification but only a
psychological one. It is clear that there are no grounds for believing
that the simplest eventuality will in fact be realized.


6.36311 It is an hypothesis that the sun will rise tomorrow: and this
means that we do not know whether it will rise.


6.37 There is no compulsion making one thing happen because another has
happened. The only necessity that exists is logical necessity.


6.371 The whole modern conception of the world is founded on the
illusion that the so-called laws of nature are the explanations of
natural phenomena.


6.372 Thus people today stop at the laws of nature, treating them as
something inviolable, just as God and Fate were treated in past ages.
And in fact both are right and both wrong: though the view of the
ancients is clearer in so far as they have a clear and acknowledged
terminus, while the modern system tries to make it look as if everything
were explained.
 
ughaibu
 
Reply Thu 4 Mar, 2010 09:48 pm
@Night Ripper,
Night Ripper;134146 wrote:
How can you tell if something happened with cause or without cause? In both cases something happened. And causes cannot be observed. So, why do we infer the existence of causes in the first place?
I suspect that cause is an irreducibly folk notion. Take the case of Schrodinger, if the cat dies, its owners will sue him, because he caused the cat's death. But if the cat survives, nobody will be nominating him for any medals, because he didn't cause it's survival. Given the asymmetry, it seems unreasonable to say that Schroedinger caused the death of the cat, (if it died), on the other hand, if Schroedinger hadn't designed and built the apparatus, selected and put the cat in the box, the cat's life would've been uninterrupted, so it seems equally unreasonable to say that he didn't cause its death.
 
 

 
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