Ideas of J.L. Mackie, by Theme

[Australian, 1917 - 1982, Born in Sydney. At University College, Oxford University.]

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22. Metaethics / C. Ethics Foundations / 1. Nature of Ethics / f. Ethical non-cognitivism
The 'error theory' of morals says there is no moral knowledge, because there are no moral facts
26. Natural Theory / C. Causation / 2. Particular Causation / a. Observation of causation
Some says mental causation is distinct because we can recognise single occurrences
26. Natural Theory / C. Causation / 2. Particular Causation / b. Causal relata
Mackie tries to analyse singular causal statements, but his entities are too vague for events
26. Natural Theory / C. Causation / 2. Particular Causation / c. Conditions of causation
The INUS account interprets single events, and sequences, causally, without laws being known
Necessity and sufficiency are best suited to properties and generic events, not individual events
A cause is part of a wider set of conditions which suffices for its effect
Necessary conditions are like counterfactuals, and sufficient conditions are like factual conditionals
26. Natural Theory / C. Causation / 2. Particular Causation / d. Selecting the cause
A cause is an Insufficient but Necessary part of an Unnecessary but Sufficient condition
26. Natural Theory / C. Causation / 3. General Causation / b. Nomological causation
Mackie has a nomological account of general causes, and a subjunctive conditional account of single ones
The virus causes yellow fever, and is 'the' cause; sweets cause tooth decay, but they are not 'the' cause
29. Religion / F. Problem of Evil / 1. Problem of Evil
Is evil an illusion, or a necessary contrast, or uncontrollable, or necessary for human free will?
The propositions that God is good and omnipotent, and that evil exists, are logically contradictory