Chapter

The Direction of Causation <sup>1</sup>

J. L. Mackie

in The Cement of the Universe

Published in print September 1980 | ISBN: 9780198246428
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191597954 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0198246420.003.0008

Series: Clarendon Library of Logic and Philosophy

 The Direction of Causation  1

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This chapter addresses the issue of the direction of the relation between cause and effect. Mackie first argues for a conceptual distinction between causal priority and temporal priority and claims that the former is not reducible to the latter. Neither is it the case that causal priority is reducible to a mere asymmetry in the form of causal regularities. Mackie instead proposes an analysis of causal priority that relies on a contrast between the ‘fixity’ and ‘unfixity’ of events. The chapter concludes with a consideration of the relation between Mackie's notion of causal priority and determinism.

Keywords: asymmetry; causal priority; determinism; direction of causation; fixity; temporal priority; unfixity

Chapter.  14097 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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