File spoon-archives/bhaskar.archive/bhaskar_1998/bhaskar.9807, message 4


Date: Thu, 02 Jul 1998 11:53:59 -0400
Subject: Re:  BHA: Causal powers of absence - are they real?


Howard,

Actually, I myself "tend to think that if it aint efficient it aint cause", 
but I disagree that such a view is tied to positivism.  I don't much like 
the Aristotelian scheme, because I tend to think that final causes are also 
efficient.  If I conceive an idea of something and then bring it about, I 
want to say that my specific idea (as opposed to meaning) was efficiently 
instrumental in my bringing it about.  OK, maybe it's more accurate to say 
that my desire to realize my idea is the efficient cause.  No matter.  What 
is important here is that absences can be regarded as efficient causes.  
There is no need to tie absences to final causes in contrast to efficient
causes.  The desire to realize an idea is in my view an ont, however I
don't think one can successfully explain such onts without reference to
de-onts that operate as efficient causes.  Spartacus organized a slave
revolt because of a lack of liberty.  A slave revolt is certainly a strong
manifestation of causal potency.  Was not then the lack of liberty causally
potent?  If not, then something else had to be.  So what was it?
Subjective experiences and nothing else?  An affirmative answer to that one
commits you to the epistemic fallacy.

Caroline, Ruth - you are implicated somewhat in this thread.  What do you say?

Louis Irwin





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