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  • The Shoutbox
    Thanks to everyone on these forums and it’s predecessor. Played a huge part in my intellectual life. And in part due to things we’ve talked about now my first peer-reviewed journal article just dropped!
  • Experimental Philosophy and the Knobe Effect


    Thanks for finding that quote. I am clearly wrong, apologies for my misleading earlier statement!
  • Experimental Philosophy and the Knobe Effect


    Oh my mistake, I thought the disagreement was about whether it was philosophy or not, not whether it was worthwhile. I know no sane philosopher who claims experimental philosophy is not philosophy.
  • Experimental Philosophy and the Knobe Effect


    I reckon if you used the phrase 'harmed profits' to refer to the side-effects of Greenpeace's actions it would be seen as likely intentional, but 'helped profits' it would likely be seen as unintentional. I suspect you disagree?
  • Looking for recommendations
    Practical Ethics by Peter Singer?
  • Experimental Philosophy and the Knobe Effect

    I would think that these decisions are subjective and personal, not factual or normative.Olivier5

    I guess our intuitions just differ there! :)
  • Experimental Philosophy and the Knobe Effect


    Just trying to find examples of people not in power still giving rise to the Knobe effect. This paper gives a pretty good run down of some newer surveys.
    This one is interesting:

    https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11229-022-03917-2

    “ACME Inc. started a new program. When launching the new program, data suggested that the program would help ACME Inc. increase profits, but that it would also [harm/help] the environment. In line with ACME Inc.’s business policies and in the interest of maximizing profits, the new program was implemented. Sure enough, the environment was [harmed/helped].”

    This apparently has similar results to the original. They weren’t sure whether intentionality was seen as ‘distributive’ though in such a case i.e. that the intentions were distributed throughout members of ACME, presumably disproportionately to those in power. Anyway it looks like they go on to adjust for that and still find that non-distributive intentionality is suggested but they need further data.

    In short, it seems groups can be seen as more intentional based on morals too, rather than just CEOs and generals, well morals or maybe just the words ‘harm’ and ‘help’ for other reasons.
  • Experimental Philosophy and the Knobe Effect


    This is an intriguing position. I would have thought it really does matter what philosophers have decided in the last few decades. Especially ABOUT philosophy. And especially to people in a philosophy forum.

    Can you explain why it wouldn’t?
  • Experimental Philosophy and the Knobe Effect


    Oh I haven’t looked into other versions of the Knobe effect but I suspect they’re not limited to CEOs and people in power. But perhaps you’re onto something?
  • Greatest contribution of philosophy in last 100 years?
    Popper and Rawls would have to be up there. Gettier, too, in an odd fashion. Maybe Singer and Chalmers. I think there's a bunch that may seem to have made great contributions (Wittgenstein, Russell, Kripke, Lewis et al) but will end up looking on the wrong side of history.
  • Gettier Problem.
    I think I agree with something like @neomac’s intuitions here.
    Doesn’t it make sense for the farmer’s self report at t1 to be about t1 and for his self report about t2 to be about t2?
    Other mental states are like that e.g. at t1 he intended to go to the shops but at t2 he no longer intended to go to the shops. (Not that at t2 he never intended to go to the shops).
  • Why Correlation Does Not Imply Causation
    Thanks for the advice @Jamal I might leave this convo here. It’s been instructive though, my philosophy education is a bit piecemeal so now I feel better educated on the word ‘implies’. Cheers all!
  • Why Correlation Does Not Imply Causation
    I wonder if it is more likely you are the only one with a new insight about correlations (that correlation implies causation) or that you are using 'implies' in a non-standard way and actually agree with everybody?
  • Why Correlation Does Not Imply Causation
    You know as well as I do that you meant by imply, imply - that is, suggestBartricks



    I'm not sure which of my uses of 'imply' you're referring to, but it doesn't matter as I've been very consistent in using it as a synonym for 'entails'. That's because I / we are talking about correlation implying something. Correlation isn't a person so it can't be said to imply something in the 'suggest' sense of the word, it implies in the formal 'entails' sense.

    I can absolutely tell you that correlation does not imply causation because a standard reading of that claim would tell us all correlations are instances of causation. I know you don't believe that, so I must insist you switch to a standard use of the words: suggest for when people imply and entails for when states of affairs imply.
  • Why Correlation Does Not Imply Causation


    Such a statement about causation would be the formal ‘entail’ sense of the word. One would only really use imply as a synonym for‘suggest’ if a PERSON was doing the implying, not when state of affairs implies something.
  • Why Correlation Does Not Imply Causation


    I’m pretty sure that the strong ‘entail’ version is PRECISELY what people mean when they say correlation doesn’t imply causation.

    Now it’s said so often because it is true. Unarguably true. But I don’t think it’s quite ‘banal’. It’s a point about not being able to draw causation purely from statistics. You need causal models or something else to do thst.
  • The Shoutbox


    Thanks! It’s been a long time coming, it’s in part based on my Masters, which I finished a couple of years ago, the wheels of academia move slow :)
  • Why Correlation Does Not Imply Causation


    Oh that makes so much sense when you put it like that. I don’t know why I missed that version of implication in my internet search though. Sorry @Bartricks!

    I have to say that those who say ‘correlation doesn’t imply causation’ are using the formal sense as far as I can tell!
  • The Shoutbox


    Ha no sorry. I’m all smug because it looks likely to be published but I don’t want to dox myself when it comes out so I’m being vague lol. It’s a sub field journal and a newish one, don’t mind me I’ll just humblebrag in the corner
  • Why Correlation Does Not Imply Causation


    I’ve obviously upset you but when I google I am not bringing up the same information that you are. I’m not trying to be difficult I’m just curious where you’re getting your information. I suspect it might be wrong.
  • Why Correlation Does Not Imply Causation

    I ask because a cursory search appears to confirm my intuition.
  • Why Correlation Does Not Imply Causation


    Do you have a source for this? I would use entails and implies as synonyms.
  • Why Correlation Does Not Imply Causation


    Well now I’m not sure if either it is you or I that has a non-standard understanding of ‘implies’.

    I am using ‘implies’ to mean that something necessarily follows from something else. But I think you are using ‘entails’ to say the same.

    You seem to be using ‘implies’ to mean something like ‘gives some evidence for’ which doesn’t seem strong enough.
  • Why Correlation Does Not Imply Causation


    Just my two cents: correlation does not imply causation, but it doesn’t imply NO causation either.
  • The Shoutbox
    Been doing revisions on a paper all weekend, hopefully my first publication!
  • Why Correlation Does Not Imply Causation


    Nope I don’t think I know Karlen, but if he’s been mistaken for me he must be very handsome ;)
  • Does quantum physics say nothing is real?
    EDIT - I think I’ve made an error here. Please disregard.

    So this is why quantum weirdness is not that weird: if we have three verbs in a sentence (a noun form as the subject, then a transitive verb, then another verb as the object) and the first action is necessary for the third it seems that it is proper to say that the action that is the first causes the action that is the third.

    So for example:

    If <the kicking of the ball> <forces> <the ball to go to a particular place> = the kicking of the ball <causes> the ball to go to a particular place.

    If <the dropping of a vase> <helps> <the flowers to go everywhere> = the dropping of a vase <causes> the flowers to go everywhere

    If <the of waving your hands> <provokes> <me to kill a man> = the waving of your hands <causes> me to kill a man

    If <the eating of ice cream> <allows> <me to be happy> = the eating of ice cream causes me to be happy

    Then it stands to reason that:

    If <the detection of the particle> <reveals> <the particle to be at a certain place> = the detection of the particle causes the particle to be at a certain place
  • Why Correlation Does Not Imply Causation
    Is it that in any possible world, if event A happens then even B also happens - we say A causes B?Banno

    No that’s not my claim.

    It’s actually more simple than that. There can be all sorts of reasons that one thing is necessary for another. In the case of the reply your post is necessary so that I can know how and when to reply.

    A spark might be necessary for a fire because fires require heat to start. The dropping of a vase might be necessary for a vase to break because it needs momentum when it hits the ground, that sort of thing.

    But to be clear, it’s not being necessary that makes something a cause, it’s the fact that one thing is necessary for another and that they are both particular things.
  • Why Correlation Does Not Imply Causation


    No sorry, I meant to correct myself. I would like to retract the ‘necessity between particular things’ bit.

    Think I misspoke.

    The claim is simply that a cause is a particular thing that is necessary for another particular thing.

    It seems to me any counter example can be explained by the fact that either the proposed cause is not necessary for the effect, or that the proposed cause or effect are general things rather than particular things.
  • Why Correlation Does Not Imply Causation


    Sorry, perhaps I was unclear. I don’t mean necessary in the sense that things necessarily happen (as you say possible worlds seems to imply that very few things necessarily happen).

    I mean necessary in the sense that the cause is necessary for the effect, with the added condition that both cause and effect are particular things rather than general things.

    Your particular post was necessary for my particular reply therefore the post caused the reply.
  • Why Correlation Does Not Imply Causation


    I wonder if we need the rather unsatisfying and untidy family resemblance idea when my idea works perfectly well and appears more parsimonious?

    Can you think of a case where my idea doesn’t hold?
  • Why Correlation Does Not Imply Causation


    Perhaps I mean necessity in a special sense, where x is necessary for y.

    In that sense your post is necessary for me to to reply to it!
  • Why Correlation Does Not Imply Causation
    I still haven’t seen a convincing argument against my idea of causation!

    A cause is necessity between particular things.

    We need, though, to explain what I am referring to by ‘particular’ things.

    A lot of words can have both a general and a particular ense. ‘A spark’ can refer to a bit of flammable material at a particular time and place. But ‘a spark’ can also refer to ANY thing that is a spark, not just a particular one.

    When we say ‘a spark causes a fire’ we mean that a particular spark is necessary for a particular fire.

    The classic argument against necessity as causation is that things like oxygen and fuel are necessary for the fire too, yet we wouldn’t say oxygen caused the fire, or fuel caused the fire.

    Yet we have a handy answer for this: no particular oxygen is necessary for the fire (it can be any oxygen), and no particular fuel is necessary for the fire (it can be any fuel).

    Note that the question of ‘what sorts of things are causes’ leaves us with a broad conception: events, actions, things can all be actions. It is necessity that is the common factor.
  • Why Correlation Does Not Imply Causation


    I'm actually well versed on these as it happens.

    The fact is it is still an open question about what causation is. My ideas are closest to Mackie's INUS conditions, but I think this improves on them. He thought the conditions didn't work for general cases, but I'm saying 'cigarettes cause cancer' is NOT a general case (in some sense).
  • Why Correlation Does Not Imply Causation
    I was previously using sufficient / insufficient and words to frame causation, but now I wonder if it is better framed in terms of specific and general.

    It seems that a lot of words have a specific and also a general use. ‘A spark’ can refer to a specific spark and a spark more generally, for instance.

    I think an (efficient) 'cause’ is simply when something specific is necessary for something else specific. I know this sounds far too simple but have a think about it.

    If we want to say that a specific spark is necessary for a specific fire to exist we say: ‘a spark caused a fire’. This distinguishes from the claim that ‘a spark’ in general is necessary for ‘a fire’ in general (which appears not to be true).

    The fuel and the oxygen are also necessary for the fire, so why aren't they causes? Well fuel in GENERAL is necessary for fire in GENERAL (you don't need any particular fuel, any will do, same for oxygen, and both these are needed for any fire).

    We know smoking causes cancer - but here not just any smoking is necessary for any cancer. ‘Causes’ is simply the plural of the case where specific smoking (from one person) triggers specific cancer (in the person smoking).

    So 'cause' is really performing a grammar role here rather than talking about a relationship between two things.
  • The Shoutbox
    No, please don't be more careful. Otherwise who will we have to be cranky with.T Clark

    Ha love it :)
  • Gettier Problem.
    Is it people's intuitions that the Gettier problem is solved if we are relativists regarding what is true?

    What I mean by that is that while I think we converge on what 'truth' is (stuff to do with the objective world out there and so on) we don't necessarily converge on what is 'true' is. It seems to me that 'true' smuggles in the fact that the speaker might be wrong in a way that 'truth' doesn't.
    I think that is relevant for the idea that knowledge is JTB. That stands for 'justified true belief' not 'justified truth belief' after all!

    Is the cost of this sort of idea too high? I wouldn't want to be accused of a certain sort of relativism where there is no truth for instance.
  • The Shoutbox
    You're new here. Perhaps you should wait a while before offering condescending advice.T Clark

    It was incredibly general advice about something that should be universal - politeness. But you're correct, it probably was a bit condescending in retrospect. Sorry!
    In my defence I am a returning customer to this forum from years ago, and was a very regular poster in an earlier incarnation of this site hosted by someone else (yes technically a different forum).
    I suppose my thought was that sometimes newbies can see things that aren't normative in a way that old hands can't. I wasn't speaking about my own feelings being hurt as much as lurking and seeing general rudeness, but I'll be more careful of my critiques in future!
  • The Shoutbox
    It seems to me there’s a few users of the forum that could stand to dial everything down a tone :) People are gonna be wrong more often than they are correct, no need to give yourself a hernia about it folks!
    Peace xxoo