The most noticeable characteristic of what mental causality may amount to, seems to be the causal or quasi-causal play of decisions, achievements, satisfactions, understandings, etc., in terms of the logical & evidentiary dependences among them, and between each of them and other things. The dependence is ultimately on things which, in themselves, strike us as being _side effects, after-effects_, & the like: signs, indications, similarities, implications, evidences, etc., but which, as chosen, achieved, liked, fancied, expected, noticed, remembered, etc., (quasi-)determine or solicit us in manifold ways in our further decisions, performances, satisfactions, understandings (the effects are certainly not confined within minds, either). E.g., as we can see in the ways that markets behave, the factoring in of "information" or expectations/knowledge & so on. All this is in addition to other kinds of dependence embodied in people and society.
At this point I would suggest doing an inventory of kinds of dependence, including complex dependences. I can think of at least three others besides the one above: corrective dependence (via feedback), including very precisely corrective dependence, on _output or "final" conditions_, seen especially in organisms generally; statistical dependence, including proximity-proportionate dependence, on _intermediate-stage conditions_, seen especially in matter generally; and a dependence, including sensitive dependence of transition rules (which sounds like the stuff of some sort of inverse-optimizational problems to me, but I haven't seen that said, & I'm no expert on any of this), on _initial conditions_, seen especially in dynamic systems generally. Since the question of what are the most fundamental dependences may vary with how commonsensical, how imaginative, etc., one is willing to be (not to mention, on what one actually knows), I usually end up with no opinion at all about what, if anything, is most basic in the biggest picture. But all these kinds of dependence seem rather general, -- feedback dependence is not confined to biology, for instance -- and for my part, I don't know how to characterize them with regard to causation except to say that they're at least causationlike. When you speak of forces and agent-minds, I get the feeling that you're thinking of Tegmark's Level I, and this stuff might be general enough to think of in association with Level II -- I don't mean the broad structure of Level II, I mean that the generality may be appropriate for the sort of diversity which one might expect across Level II, at least "our" Level II inflationary multiverse. (Meanwhile, actually, I've no firm view on whether there's a Multiverse, Tegmark's or otherwise.) But anyway the kinds of dependence may be things, or point to things, which you might want to take into account in your model.
If the Multiverse of which you're thinking is Tegmark's, then I would note that it has four levels. I suppose that it could be that it is as you have it, or seem to have it, that two kinds of causality are apparent at Level I, and a third kind, a logical-consilience kind of causality, reaches across all levels. Yet, in such basic issues, one might wonder whether to look for more regularity or symmetry than that, though I admit that, in the biggest picture, there needs to be a "place" for asymmetry too.
----- Original Message -----
From: Marc Geddes
Sent: Monday, September 19, 2005 4:00 AM
Subject: More than one kind of 'causality'?
Here's a speculation:
The model I'm working with for my theory seems to suggest 3 different fundamental kinds of 'cause and effect'.
The first is physical causality - motion of physical objects through space.
The second is mental causality - agents making choices which effect agents
The third is what I call 'Multiverse causality', a sort of highly abtsract 'causality' close to the notion of logical consistency/consilience - that which ensures that knowledge has a certain ordered 'structure' to it .
Anyone have any thoughts on this?
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For, put them side by side,
The one the other will include
With ease, and you beside.
'The brain is wider than the sky'