Single Idea 5861

[catalogued under 26. Natural Theory / C. Causation / 5. Direction of causation]

Full Idea

Men take its occurring after as its occurring because.

Gist of Idea

People assume events cause what follows them


Aristotle (The Art of Rhetoric [c.350 BCE], 1401b)

Book Reference

Aristotle: 'The Art of Rhetoric', ed/tr. Lawson-Tancred,H.C. [Penguin 1991], p.210

A Reaction

The Latin is 'post hoc propter hoc' - after this so because of this. It is quite a good inductive rule, but obviously open to abuse, as in legal cases, as when someone happens to acquire a lot of money just after a crime.