Single Idea 8374

[catalogued under 26. Natural Theory / C. Causation / 9. General Causation / b. Nomological causation]

Full Idea

We are interested in causes and effects primarily for practical purposes, which needs generalizations; so the interest of concrete individual facts of causation is chiefly an indirect one, as raw material for generalizations.

Gist of Idea

We are interested in generalising about causes and effects purely for practical purposes


Curt Ducasse (Nature and Observability of Causal Relations [1926], 6)

Book Reference

'Causation', ed/tr. Sosa,E. /Tooley,M. [OUP 1993], p.135

A Reaction

A nice explanation of why, if causation is fundamentally about single instances, people seem so interested in generalisations and laws. We want to predict, and we want to explain, and we want to intervene.