thinking makes it so

There is grandeur in this view of life…

Every event must have a cause?

with 2 comments

Can anyone out there help me with this?

I responded to another blog which made the assertion ‘Every event must have a cause…’. You can follow the conversation here: Unfortunately the conversation closed down.

The writer claimed that the proposition ‘every event has a cause’ is analytically true, and that’s what I cannot understand. I can understand the different claim that ‘every effect has a cause’ is analytically true, and I would probably agree. I also understand (just about) Kant’s claim that ‘every event has a cause’ is a synthetic a priori, and as such a precondition for objective knowledge. But I cannot understand what grounds someone might have for claiming it is analytically true.

I am not saying the claim is nonsense, just that I cannot understand it. Can anyone shed light on it?

© Chris Lawrence 2008


2 Responses

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  1. Thanks. I think ‘effect’ is by definition something caused, so ‘uncaused effect’ is a contradiction; as is ‘a cause which has no effect’. But I cannot see that ‘uncaused event‘ is a contradiction, which it would have to be for ‘every event has a cause’ to be analytically true.

    Chris Lawrence

    16 November 2008 at 11:37 am

  2. I wasn’t aware that causality could be analytically true, though I don’t keep up to date with such things. However, I’m not sure, because “every effect has a cause” seems to be a priori to me.

    So obviously my knowledge here is completely lacking, but I’d join you in thinking that it just doesn’t make sense to me either.


    16 November 2008 at 11:17 am

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