Single Idea 8410

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

Full Idea

Reichenbach wanted to implement a causal theory of time. He did not stipulate that causes are temporally prior to their effects. Instead, he constructs a theory of causal relations to yield a causal asymmetry which is used to define temporal priority.

Gist of Idea

A theory of causal relations yields an asymmetry which defines the direction of time


report of Hans Reichenbach (The Direction of Time [1956]) by Wesley Salmon - Probabilistic Causality

Book Reference

'Causation', ed/tr. Sosa,E. /Tooley,M. [OUP 1993], p.138

A Reaction

I find his approach implausible. I suspect strong empiricism is behind it - that he wants to build from observable causes to unobservable time, not vice versa. But normal intuition sees time as one of the bedrocks of reality, making events possible.