Single Idea 8433

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

Full Idea

Lewis claims that most events are over-determined by subsequent states of the world, but not by their history. That is, the future of every event contains many independent traces of its occurrence, with little prior indication that it would happen.

Gist of Idea

There are few traces of an event before it happens, but many afterwards


report of David Lewis (Counterfactual Dependence and Time's Arrow [1979]) by Paul Horwich - Lewis's Programme p.209

Book Reference

'Causation', ed/tr. Sosa,E. /Tooley,M. [OUP 1993], p.209

A Reaction

Lewis uses this asymmetry to deduce the direction of causation, and hence the direction of time. Most people (including me, I think) would prefer to use the axiomatic direction of time to deduce directions of causation. Lewis was very wicked.