Stephen Mumford

New meditations on first philosophy,in which causation's nature and existence is demonstrated

We can doubt the existence of many things. They might be a social or linguistic construction. But nothing is socially constructed unless causation is real for society is said to construct something. And a society is not a mere plurality but one that must involve causally interacting parts. Societas ergo causalitas. Once established, causation can be understood as that which makes the world regular and comprehendible. Without it there is no life. It provides for us. What thing better deserves the name God? For note that God could not have created anything unless causation was already real; and this includes causation itself. He could not have created it unless it already was. But what is causation? Hume thought of it in terms of constant conjunctions and counterfactuals. But just as neither society nor God can have made causation, the individual alone cannot either, as the private language argument shows. Causation is then to be taken as the criterion of existence and is the thing from which everything else is constructed. Matter is power, as are properties, and all events and processes are manifestations of that causal power.

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