plurality of causes

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John Stuart Mill (1806—1873) philosopher, economist, and advocate of women's rights



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The doctrine, originally propounded by J. S. Mill, that the same phenomenon may have many different causes. In one sense this is obviously true: the same type of event (e.g. a death) may be caused by different illnesses, accidents, etc. It does not follow that a particular example or token of the type (the death of Henry VIII, for example) has many causes, although it may be fruitful to think in terms of many contributory factors, rather than just one event or state that counts as the cause.

Subjects: Philosophy.

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