On 4/6/2011 2:06 PM, John Mikes wrote:
The exchange between SPK and Bruno is hard to personalize, there is am unmarked paragraph after a par marked "...
so I was in doubt whether it is Bruno, or Stephen who wrote:
/"His use of the word "causation" is unfortunate but we can forgive
     him because there is no correct word for the relation that he is
     considering....." /
//
Both mathematical and philosophical "causation" is partial: all we can consider as instigating a 'change' (= cause?) may only come from the part of the totality we already know of and include into that partivular model used in our consideration, while the influences of the still unknown factors are included (active?) as well (not to mention those known ones we neglected in our limited thinking). In precise thinking such uncertainty interferes with applying 'correct' vocabulary.
John M


In fundamental physics where evolution is time-symmetric, the distinction between cause and effect is just an arbitrary choice. In more practical terms cause usually refers to some part of a process we could chose to control. If a cable breaks and drops something, we say the accident was caused by cable failure - because what we think we could have done to prevent the accident is use a better cable. We don't say gravity caused it because we can't turn off gravity.

Brent

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