Causality, Thread(s of)

Twink (
Mon, 24 Nov 1997 21:08:45 -0500 (EST)

At 02:38 PM 11/24/97 -0800, you wrote:
>>The statement here implies that there are causal
>>threads -- i.e., that causality is operative!:)
>I meant that we usually have imputed causality to
>'things' where the physical causes are probably
>several levels removed: Did I throw the ball, or did
>my arm throw it, or did the game I'm playing cause me
>to throw it?

My example of someone killing someone else is
similar. As long as there are no contradictions, I
see no problem with integrating the views. You
threw the ball, through the medium of your arm.
(The game itself supplies the motive behind you
doing so. I would not deny ideas -- the rules of
various games being such -- have an effect, but
not in the sense of they exist outside of minds
and directly cause things to change. But I,
unlike Freeman et al., offer no general theory
on this -- for now.:)

>Perhaps the point these people I quoted were trying
>to make is that, while there is always some
>object-level causality going on, that may not be the
>most effective way to describe or study a situation.

I sign on to that, in some cases.:) Look, we are going
to far for a book I haven't read. I am only talking about
the quote I read and your rejoinders to me. I'd really
have to dig deeper into the argument. If I get the
time and the dough, I'd like to read Turner's book.

As long as you limit causality to the kind that many
Moderns denote by the term, then, yes, there is much
beyond causality. However, there is a wider, more
_realistic_ (to me:) view of it which I subscribe to.

>>I disagree, and note how he [Freeman]has assigned
>>a cause
>>here! He implies "neural processes" are the cause of
>>the way we "humanize" the "interrelations of objects
>>and events.":) As usual, those who deny axioms must
>>use the very axioms in the denial.
>Perhaps he has just been a good eliminative
>materialist and pared things down to the 'real'
>underlying cause ;-) But, as in my ball-game
>example, there's some circular causality involved in
>most complex situations.

My point: Freeman implied in your quote of him that
causality is a human thing -- as if to mean, causality
is a fantasy we impose on reality. He then went on
to give the causes of this. That was what was
circular -- i.e., his argument. Now, if causality is a
chimera, then so is his argument, since he relies on
it. If not, then his argument is self-defeating, don't
you think?

>We don't really know the final causes in most
>situations; but, in most situations, one or the other
>causes will usually suffice to get us by. However,
>if we are trying to get a better understanding of the
>"universe that is a totality - an integrated whole"
>(as you put it), a relational viewpoint may often
>offer a more complete picture than a causal viewpoint
>that is practically restricted to a limited set of
>objects and their apparent direct impacts on each

Again, that is only one view of causality. The neo-
Aristotelean/Objectivist view is not of billiard balls,
but of entities having natures and changing
according to their natures. The reason a billiard
ball moves like it does when hit by another in
your average game, as opposed to what an egg
or a puff of moist air is because of what it is.

Daniel Ust