Download Causation and Explanation (Central Problems of Philosophy) by Stathis Psillos PDF

By Stathis Psillos

Within the part on legislation of nature, Psillos considers either the regularity view of legislation and legislation as kin between universals in addition to substitute techniques to legislation. within the ultimate part on rationalization he examines intimately the problems bobbing up from deductive-nomological clarification and statistical clarification sooner than contemplating the reason of legislation and the metaphysics of clarification. available to scholars of all degrees the writer presents a great advent to at least one of the main enduring difficulties of philosophy.

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Extra resources for Causation and Explanation (Central Problems of Philosophy)

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But this is not all. Let us try any other balls of the same kind in a like situation, and we shall always find, that the impulse of the one produces motion in the other. , that is a constant conjunction betwixt the cause and effect. Every object like the cause, produces always some object like the effect. Beyond these three circumstances of contiguity, priority, and constant conjunction, I can discover nothing in this cause. The first ball is in motion; touches the second; immediately the second is in motion: and when I try the experiment with the same or like balls, in the same or like circumstances, I find that upon the motion and touch of the one ball, motion always follows in the other.

To be sure, Hume can easily dispel this objection by noting that Reason alone does not compel us to make the inference from cause to effect. What he says repeatedly is that causal inference is not a demonstrative inference. Consequently, it cannot be justified a priori, with the lights of Reason only. 4 Here is a typical statement of this point: There is no object, which implies the existence of any other if we consider these objects in themselves, and never look beyond the ideas which we form of them.

Then, it must be the case that this something that happens to the mind is the sought-after impression. This something that happens to the mind is what Hume calls the feeling of “determination”. Indeed, Hume notes: “this determination is the only effect of the resemblance; and therefore must be the same with power or efficacy, whose idea is derived from the resemblance” (T: 165). Its presence in the human mind after the observation of “resemblance in a sufficient number of instances” (T: 165) is, as Stroud (1977: 86) has rightly put it, “simply a fundamental fact about human beings that Hume does not try to explain”.

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