Chapter

Necessary Connections

Ted Honderich

in Mind and Brain

Published in print April 1990 | ISBN: 9780198242826
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191680588 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198242826.003.0002

Series: Clarendon Paperbacks

Necessary Connections

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It is often claimed that people take effects to be events that might not have occurred, given all things exactly as they were beforehand. Such claims about people's ordinary beliefs are commonly depended on in asserting free will, which is to say indeterminist accounts of decision and action. They have been given a confidence and liveliness through the influence of a common interpretation of quantum theory. Another more minor reason for attending to causation is that too dramatic conception of it, such as those which connect it with certain images or ideas of power, or fate or plan, or compulsion, or logical connection, distort, one's responses to determinism. Another larger reason for attending to causation, on the other hand, is that people do well to avoid the general conceptual uncertainty that must be part of an inquiry which leaves undefined any of its fundamental ideas which are open to definition.

Keywords: ordinary beliefs; brain; causes; causal circumstances; dependent conditionals; conditional statements; science; nomic connections

Chapter.  27819 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Philosophy of Mind

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