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The Illustrated Sutra of Cause and Effect. 8th century, Japan

Causality (also referred to as 'causation',<ref>'The action of causing; the relation of cause and effect' OED</ref> or 'cause and effect') is the relation between one process (the cause) and another (the effect), where the first is understood to be partly responsible for the second. In general, a process has many causes, which are said to be causal factors for it, and all lie in its past. An effect can in turn be a cause of many other effects, which all lie in its future.

In Aristotelian philosophy, the word 'cause' is also used to mean 'explanation' or 'answer to a why question', including Aristotle's material, formal, efficient, and final "causes"; then the "cause" is the explanans for the explanandum. In this case, failure to recognize that different kinds of "cause" are being considered can lead to futile debate. The present article is about Aristotle's efficient "cause".

The topic remains a staple in contemporary philosophy.


Causality sections
Intro  History  Logic  Theories  Fields  See also  References  Further reading  External links  

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{{#invoke:Hatnote|hatnote}} {{#invoke:Hatnote|hatnote}} {{ safesubst:#invoke:Unsubst||$N=Use dmy dates |date=__DATE__ |$B= }}

The Illustrated Sutra of Cause and Effect. 8th century, Japan

Causality (also referred to as 'causation',<ref>'The action of causing; the relation of cause and effect' OED</ref> or 'cause and effect') is the relation between one process (the cause) and another (the effect), where the first is understood to be partly responsible for the second. In general, a process has many causes, which are said to be causal factors for it, and all lie in its past. An effect can in turn be a cause of many other effects, which all lie in its future.

In Aristotelian philosophy, the word 'cause' is also used to mean 'explanation' or 'answer to a why question', including Aristotle's material, formal, efficient, and final "causes"; then the "cause" is the explanans for the explanandum. In this case, failure to recognize that different kinds of "cause" are being considered can lead to futile debate. The present article is about Aristotle's efficient "cause".

The topic remains a staple in contemporary philosophy.


Causality sections
Intro  History  Logic  Theories  Fields  See also  References  Further reading  External links  

PREVIOUS: IntroNEXT: History
<<>>