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Lecture 15

PHI 31 Lecture Notes - Lecture 15: Necessity And Sufficiency

Course Code
PHI 31
Griesemer James

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LECTURE 15: 10/31/18
Causation, Causal Models and Casual Effectiveness
Causation is not a correlation
Correlation and Causation
Correlation is symmetrical
If A is correlated with B, then B is correlated with A
Causation is asymmetrical
If A causes B, then B doesn’t cause A
Ex: Ashtray use doesn’t cause cancer
Ex: Traffic jams in the valley don’t cause it to snow in the
Some ideas about the Asymmetry in Causation
Temporal Order: causes occur before their effects (or at
least not after their effects)
Power: causes produce or make effects happen
Probability: causes raise (or alter) the probability of their
Modal/Counterfactual Support: If C were to iccur, then E
would occur
Regularity: E regularly follows C
Causes as Conditions
Necessity View: If E then C
Ex: striking a match in order for it to light
C is necessary for E
If E occurs, then C did
Sufficiency View: If C then E
Ex: striking a dry match on a hard surface with oxygen present
INUS Condition View: C is INUS for E
Causes are neither necessary nor sufficient for their effects
A cause, C, of na effect, E is…
An Insufficient but Nonredundant part of an Unnecessary yet
Sufficient condition
Ex: striking a match causes it to light
Striking a match is an insufficient part of what it takes to
light a match (bc you also need oxygen, a rough dry
surface, and other conditions)
Striking a match is a nonredundant part of this way of
lighting a match bc the oxygen and rough dry surface wont
do it without the striking
Striking plus oxygen (plus some other conditions) is an
unnecessary condition for lighting bc you could instead
light a match with a magnifying glass and sunlight oe with
really high heat
Striking plus oxygen is, we take it, a sufficient condition
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