Richard Taylor´S Metaphysics Of Causation Essay

1547 words - 7 pages

Causation is the relation between cause and effect, or the act of bringing about an effect, which may be an event, a state, or an object. The concept of causation has long been recognized as one of the fundamental philosophical importance. Hume called it the “cement of the universe”: causation is the relation that connects events and objects of this world in significant relationships. Further, causation is intimately related to explanation: to ask for an explanation of an event is, to ask for its cause. But according to Richard Taylor, causation is not that simple and discoverable relationship between states, processes and events. “What we want, then, is a conceptual analysis of this ...view middle of the document...

For him, if something not identical with him was the cause of his behavior so only by that he would admit that he caused that external or internal event. We cause our own actions conceived as a bodily movement, without doing anything else. When I move my arm, I am aware that it is moving because of me and we are morally responsible for many things we do. Person as cause is most prominently associated with the sui generis 'agent causation' postulated by Richard Taylor and others.
Besides, modern philosophers have been satisfied that the concept of causation was reduced to an idea of efficient cause. In another word, withdrawing the ideas of power and necessity from causation as constancy of sequence is not satisfactory for our contemporary metaphysical quest. Those ideas are essential to attain the better knowledge about causation . Talking about the notion of freedom and determinism, the a priori principle is understood as antecedent conditions which are recognized by some philosophers as independent of experience. It can be named determinism.
Actually, there are some points concerning the idea of efficient causation that we need to consider. Firstly, no conception of causation can possibly work unless it includes the idea of a certain kind of necessary connection between cause and effect, and the idea of efficacy or power of a cause to produce its effect. Then, there is in the contemporary analyses of causation no basis whatsoever for affirming the temporal priority of causes to their effects apart from appealing to certain conventions of language which are not sufficient basis for affirming such priority. Finally, even making use of such ideas as necessitation and power, no one can say what causation is without involving himself in circularity or redundancy.
Let’s analyze those points mentioned above. In most statements expressive of causal relations, there are certain objects or substances referred as causes such as a brick caused that window to break, a nail punctured that tire, the cigarette caused the fire etc. In fact, these are changes of things from one state to another state by some agents. So the cause-and-effect relationship is a relationship between changed of state and it is only a relationship between the substances themselves to which those states belong.
Now we tackle the second point: what is the relationship between changes or states of substances such that some can be described as the causes, or the effects of others? It is about the necessity of effects by their causes. Taylor does not fall into the dispute between many partisans of metaphysic and their opponents. The real question is not how do we know there is a causal connection but assuming that A was the cause of B, what does it mean to say that? Taylor says firmly that the letters ‘A’, ‘B’ etc. are just names for some events or changes that actually occur at some time or place. So we pay attention to analyze sentences like: The striking of that match caused...

Find Another Essay On Richard Taylor´s Metaphysics of Causation

The Symbolism of the Birds in Edgar Allan Poe´s The Raven and in Samuel Taylor Coleridge´s The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

895 words - 4 pages symbolize two different things. This gets to be the main plot of both poems. The Raven in the poem The Raven by Poe is a symbolism of evil and the Albatross in The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge is a sign of un-appreciation toward nature. The Raven by Edgar Allen Poe shows us a man that is sitting in his house alone thinking of a woman named Lenore. However, we do not know who Lenore is we can assume that she is a woman that

Similarities in Main Characters of Shakespeare´s Richard the Third and Macbeth

1361 words - 5 pages William Shakespeare’s Richard III and Macbeth, one a historical play, and the other a tragedy respectfully, are two of Shakespeare’s plays that embody several similarities. The most evident similarities in the two plays are the number of shared characteristics between the two main characters for which the plays are named, Richard of Gloucester (Richard III), and Macbeth. Both men are soldiers, attain the throne through a series of murders, and

Failure and Success in William Shakespeare´s The Merchant of Venice and Richard II

976 words - 4 pages Shakespeare’s play The Merchant of Venice and Richard II, we can draw examples of unrest that results in both failure and success. Due to the presence of these ideas in Shakespeare’s play we can come to question what his attitude toward rebellions and authority and can conclude that he obviously saw the benefit in questioning authority, but realized that many uprisings resulted in failure. Whether this failure occurred immediately, it would always

Compare and Contrast of Stephen Jay Gould and Richard Dawkins´s Points of View on Science and Religion

1254 words - 6 pages the study of evolution. It is possible for a scientist to be religious if he is not studying evolution, because science is very broad and it has various studies. In this essay, I will talk about the conflict between religion and science by comparing the arguments from Stephen Jay Gould and Richard Dawkins. I argue that science and religion do overlap but only in some area concerning evolution and the cosmic design. Furthermore, when these

The problem with determinism and the benefits of Taylor's theory of agency. 900 words. Bibilogeraphy

922 words - 4 pages In Metaphysics Richard Taylor outlines the different views on the concept of freedom.The traditional view is that of the compatibilists which states that freedom is the ability to act, or not to act, according to the determinations of the will. It is so defined to make it compatible with the theory of determinism, which essentially states that all actions have a causal explanation due to the state of the world in the moment previous.However, the

"Richard Taylor's paper "Freedom, Determinism and Fate" explores the necessity for society to adopt a view of Fatalism

1286 words - 5 pages Travel, Freedom and Deliberation", brings to our attention the same paradoxes of human freedom occur if two-way communication between times is possible as opposed to actual travel between times, in both cases we have advanced knowledge of the future. Such a possibility closely resembles the story of Osmo as presented in by Richard Taylor in his paper "Determinism, Freedom and Fate". I will argue that if we are able to gain foreknowledge of our own

Freedom and Determinism in Richard Taylor’s Metaphysics

851 words - 3 pages determinism successfully reconciles freedom and determinism. Soft determinism fails as it presents a limited type freedom, and it can be argued that the inner state of the agent is causally determined. Hard determinism presents a causally sound argument, whilst ignoring the moral bases of our society. Due to the failure of these theories to harmonize the data, the metaphysical problem of freedom and determinism persists. Works Cited 1. Taylor, Richard. Metaphysics. New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 1992.

Metaphysics: The Ghost in the Machine

1919 words - 8 pages unless there is a cause-effect relationship. Guess what? Cause-effect is determinism.So, "Am I ever free to choose and carry out a free act?" In my view, the answer is no.Works CitedLowe, E. J. "Self , Agency And Mental Causation." Durham UniversityBest, Ben "A Case for Free Will AND Determinism"Kolak, Daniel; Martin, Raymond the Experience of Philosophy "Freedom andDeterminism (209-219). Taylor, Richard.

Philosophy Metaphysics Essay: Distinguish between the doctrines of fatalism and determinism; can one be a fatalist without being a determinist and vice versa?

1031 words - 4 pages -18, 20-24, 26-30.Taylor, R. 1974, “Fate”, in Metaphysics, 2nd edn, eds E. Beardsley & M. Beardsley, Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, pp. 58-69.Philosophy Forums. 2008 Available at http://forums.philosophyforums.com/threads/determinism-vs-fatalism-30701.html (Accessed on 14/02/09 and 15/02/09)Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy. 2008 Available at http://plato.stanford.edu/ (Accessed on 13/02/09)

Implications of Determinism and Free Will

2264 words - 9 pages not have free will. He decided to stay. The implications of this hard determinism and incompatibalism on free will is a prime example of how these philosophies do not hold up in today’s moral society. Morals and social values are often the dilemma when discussing the implications of determinism for or understanding of free will. Criminals within the justice system are a prime example. Does the offender have free will or was the causation of

Why Did A.J.P Taylor’s Analysis of the Origins of the Second World War Cause Such Controversy Among Historians?

1043 words - 5 pages ’s neither did he dictate its course exclusively.” In the early years of Hitler’s reign Taylor was correct to identify him as an ordinary statesman because during this time there was a different formation of Government compared to the later years in the war. However, it is difficult in retrospect to dispute that Hitler was a normal statesman when looking at atrocities of his domestic policies such as; the extermination of Jews in concentration

Similar Essays

Analysis Of Meaning Of Life By Richard Taylor

776 words - 4 pages In “Meaning of Life”, Richard Taylor begins with questioning the meaning of life. He mentions this is rather hard to do and decides to define what meaninglessness is in order to understand the exact opposite: meaningfulness. Taylor asks the reader to recall the famous myth of Sisyphus to come about the definition of meaninglessness. He states that Sisyphus was condemned to roll a large boulder up a hill, only to have that boulder roll back down

Analysis Of Immanuel Kant´S Groundwork Of The Metaphysics Of Morals

1177 words - 5 pages Immanuel Kant is a popular modern day philosopher. He was a modest and humble man of his time. He never left his hometown, never married and never strayed from his schedule. Kant may come off as boring, while he was an introvert but he had a great amount to offer. His thoughts and concepts from the 1700s are still observed today. His most recognized work is from the Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals. Here Kant expresses his idea of ‘The

Shakespeare´S Richard The Third: Example Of A Villain

684 words - 3 pages Villainous people have a way of manipulating people around them to get what they want, like Richard and his desire and his do what ever it takes attitude in order to be in line for the crown. Throughout history evil people, like The Tragedy of Richard III, have justified that what they are doing is right by appealing to other people and making them feel that this is necessary for the end result they want. Many evil people are good at persuading

The Ups And Downs Of Richard Nixon´S Life

863 words - 4 pages Whether he ran a failed Orange-Juice business, or lost his high school election for student body president (history.com), Richard Nixon was a good leader, man, husband, and father. Because of the watergate scandal, his reputation was lost, but Richard had the greatness to be the man he is known for. Some of Richard’s achievements “Never let your head hang down. Never give up and sit down and grieve. Find another way. And don't pray when it