Fw: Causality and dying rosebushes,bastanib@SLU.EDU, TIME


Subject: Fw: Causality and dying rosebushes,bastanib@SLU.EDU, TIME
From: Dr. Vesa A. Niskanen (vesa.a.niskanen@helsinki.fi)
Date: Wed Sep 13 2000 - 12:12:48 MET DST


Frege's example is related to the meanings and definitions of terms. Term's
extension (or denotation) is the object or the set of objects to which this
term is referring to. Term's intension (or connotation) is the respective
concept. E.g. the term 'cat' refers to the set of cats (extension) and its
intension is the concept of being cat. Rudoph Carnap (1947, 1955) used the
terms intension and extension, whereas Frege used the terms Sinn and
Bedeutung (sense and reference, 1892). Other terms for this phenomenon are
also available. The general terms ('red', 'greater than' etc) are also known
as predicates and their extensions are called relations.

Hence, term is distinct from the concept. Which one is meaninful: 1) 'Cat'
has three letters. 2) Cat has three letters.

If two terms have identical intensions, then they also have identical
extensions, but not vice versa, and Frege's example shows the latter issue:
'Morning star' and 'evening star' have identical extensions (planet Venus)
but distinct intensions.

According to Carl Hempel's modern classification (in his book "Philosophy of
Natural Science" ) on definitions, descriptive analytic definitions are
based on intensions and descriptive non-analytic definitions on extensions.

As regards causality,
(i) Aristotle already established four types of cause: a) causa materialis
b) causa formalis c) causa efficiens and d) causa finalis. The natural
sciences usually focus on c) and the human sciences apply c) and d).

(ii) As regards c), we often assume that a certain occurrence A can cause an
occurrence B, and on time axis we assume that A is prior to B. However,
David Hume already stated that, from the logical standpoint, A and B are
never
connected, but rather they are conjoined. Hence, we only have
a feeling of connection between A and B, but no rational objective evidence
for that. For example, until now morning has always followed night, but
there is no logical connection between these things, and hence night will
not cause morning, inter alia.

(iii) In the human sciences we must also use d) which in practice means a
teleological or finalistic approach. In this case, the cause of a phenomenon
is in the future. (see e.g. G. H. von Wright's book "Explanation and
Understanding")

(iv) What if the causality also goes to the past in the manner shown in the
movie "Back to the future"?

**************************************************
Mr. Vesa A. Niskanen
Docent, Ph. D.
University of Helsinki, Dept. of Economics and Management
PO Box 27, 00014 Helsinki, Finland
Tel. +358 40 503 2031 (mobile), fax +358 9 191 58096
e-mail: vesa.a.niskanen@helsinki.fi
www.helsinki.fi/~niskanen/
"Omnia mea mecum porto"
*************************************************
----- Original Message -----
From: Ellen Hisdal <ellen@ifi.uio.no>
To: Multiple recipients of list <fuzzy-mail@dbai.tuwien.ac.at>
Sent: Tuesday, September 12, 2000 10:48 PM
Subject: Re: Causality and dying rosebushes,bastanib@SLU.EDU, TIME

> Robin Lake writes
>
> > There is an intriguing paper "The Morning Star and the Evening Star"
> > which I am unable to immediately locate. It addresses the logic
required
> > to prove that these two concepts, in fact, represent the same object.
>
> in response to my email on Causality and dying rosebushes.
>
>
> I do know that Frege was the first to give this example of two names
> which have the same reference.
> However, I do not understand how you connect it up with causality.
>
> Greetings from
> Ellen
>
>
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
> Address, etc.:
> Ellen Hisdal | Email: ellen@ifi.uio.no
> (Professor Emeritus) |
> Mail: Department of Informatics | Fax: +47 22 85 24 01
> University of Oslo | Tel: (office): 47 22 85 24 39
> Box 1080 Blindern |
> 0316 Oslo, Norway | Tel: (secr.): 47 22 85 24 10
> Location: Gaustadalleen 23, |
> Oslo | Tel: (home): 47 22 49 56 53
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
>
>
>
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