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lewis and causation

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Imogen Dickie

Knowledge and Reality Lecture November 2, 2011 Lewis and Causation Couterfactual Conditional: conditional whose truth is not guaranteed by the falsity of the antecedent [or the truth of the consequent] • Conditionals where A is false in the actual world • Involve not just the way things are, but the way things could be Causation • C causes e iff there is a chain • Pushing a domino: pushing the first one is the initial event and then it pushes the next one, and the next and so on till it ends with the falling of the last one. Lewis asks if the pushing of the first domino caused the falling of the last domino and Lewis says yes because of the chain of events causing it • Lewis says causation is transitive and causal dependence is not • Transitive means that a causes b and b causes c, therefore a causes c The basic properties of relations ** question on exam • A relation is what is expressed by a 2-place predicate • Ex. X loves Y, X is taller than Y, X got here before Y did • If you use one in a sentence, you will make a claim about both X and Y • Three basic properties: o Symmetric: iff for all x and y in the domain; if X stands in the relation of Y, then Y stands in the relation of X. Ex. Sibling and being in the same room as someone. If someone is your sibling, then they are your sibling. If someone is in the same room as you, you are in the same
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