A. Three basic theses
- 1. There are (positive) universals.
2. Theoretical terms have denotation and are analyzable by means of
observation terms, logical terms, and quasi-logical terms (e.g., 3. Nomological terms and causal terms are theoretical and not observational; therefore, they are analyzable by means of observational terms, logical terms, and quasi-logical terms, though the analysis is not reductive, in the sense that it analyzes theoretical terms merely by means of observational terms. Nonetheless, claims Tooley, theoretical statements can, by means of the Ramsey-Lewis method, be translated into statements that have no theoretical terms. - (1*) Water and sugar are such that it is a law that latter dissolves
in the former,
- "... even if it turns out that some non-reductionist
account of causation is correct, it will still be true that there is no
observable difference between a world in which all of the non-causal
facts are as they would be if states of affairs were causally related,
and a world in which the states of affairs in question really are causally
related ... So there cannot be any properties or relations, with which
one can be directly acquainted that are associated with causal terms. Consequently,
neither causal terms, nor nomological terms, can be treated as primitive,
however familiar some of them may be. Analysis is required" (p. 28).Comments: First of all, we are given no general account of what
is to count as an observational term; in fact, however, it seems quite
clear that not only causal terms, but also natural kind terms, must be
counted as theoretical terms on this account, at least if the latter have
connotations about causal powers, processes, etc. Indeed, it may very well
be that an Aristotelian will not know whether to accept or reject the two
theses of Humean supervenience precisely because of this ambiguity. (In
general, much of this book is written at such a high level of abstraction
that it is hard to know what to make of it.)
At any rate, in both the book and the article Tooley is concerned with undermining Humean supervenience even while hanging on to the strong form of Humean empiricism embodied in the claim that all nomological and causal terms are theoretical and not observational terms. The thesis of Humean supervenience relevant to causality goes like this: - The truth values of all singular causal statements are
logically determined by the truth values of statements of causal laws,
together with the truth values of non-causal statements about particulars.
Midwest Studies. Once again, it is hard to know exactly how to
react to this thesis without knowing more about what is to count as a causal
statement or a causal law. (It also seems committed to determinism as it
stands, but perhaps this can be remedied).
Tooley argues The components of Tooley's considered view are these: - (1) Causal terms and statements are theoretical rather than observational
and they refer beyond what is observable; what's more, it is possible in
principle to be rationally justified accepting some causal statements as
true.
(2) Causal terms and statements are analyzable. (3) All causal connections presuppose underlying causal laws. (4) Humean supervenience is nonetheless false. That is, the truth values of singular causal statements are not "logically determined" by the truth values of statements of causal laws, together with the truth values of statements about particulars. (5) Causation is that theoretical relation that determines the direction of the logical transmission of probabilities. - (1) The formal structural properties of causal relations can be explained
only if causal concepts are analyzable. (I must confess that I don't understand
this argument).
(2) If causal concepts are unanalyzable, then the acquisition of causal knowledge presupposes the existence of a somewhat mysterious capacity. (3) Non-causal facts can provide evidence for causal claims. |