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THE LOGIC OF CAUSATION

© Avi Sion, 1999, 2000; 2003, 2005; 2008, 2010  All rights reserved.

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THE LOGIC OF CAUSATION

Phase One: Macroanalysis

Starting with the paradigm of causation, its most obvious and strongest form, we can by abstraction of its defining components distinguish four genera of causation, or generic determinations, namely: complete, partial, necessary and contingent causation. When these genera and their negations are combined together in every which way, and tested for consistency, it is found that only four species of causation, or specific determinations, remain conceivable. The concept of causation thus gives rise to a number of positive and negative propositional forms, which can be studied in detail with relative ease because they are compounds of conjunctive and conditional propositions whose properties are already well known to logicians.

The logical relations (oppositions) between the various determinations (and their negations) are investigated, as well as their respective implications (eductions). Thereafter, their interactions (in syllogistic reasoning) are treated in the most rigorous manner. The main question we try to answer here is: is (or when is) the cause of a cause of something itself a cause of that thing, and if so to what degree? The figures and moods of positive causative syllogism are listed exhaustively; and the resulting arguments validated or invalidated, as the case may be. In this context, a general and sure method of evaluation called ‘matricial analysis’ (macroanalysis) is introduced. Because this (initial) method is cumbersome, it is used as little as possible – the remaining cases being evaluated by means of reduction.

1. The Paradigm of Causation

2. The Generic Determinations

3. The Specific Determinations

4. Immediate Inferences

5. Causative Syllogism

6. Lists of Positive Moods

7. Reduction of Positive Moods

8. Matricial Analyses

9. Squeezing Out More Information

10. Wrapping Up Phase One

Appendix:

J.S. Mill’s Methods: A Critical Analysis

Full list of Tables and Diagrams

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