The Logic of CAUSATIONandVOLITION and Allied Causal Conceptswere originally intended to constitute, respectively, parts I and II of a larger work called:


Definition, Deduction and Induction of Causation, Volition and Allied Cause-Effect Relations.

The two works were finally published separately, but it is well to keep in mind that they are intended to be one.

To paraphrase my explanations in chapter 1.1 ofThe Logic of Causation:

Causalityrefers to causal relations, i.e. the relations between causes and effects. This generic term has various, more specific meanings. It may refer to Causation, which is deterministic causality; or to Volition, which is (roughly put) indeterministic causality; or to Influence, which concerns the interactions between causation and volition or between different volitions.

The term ‘causality’ may also be used to refer to causal issues: i.e. to negative as well as positive answers to the question “are these things causally related?” In the latter sense, negations of causality (in the positive sense) are also causality (in the broad sense). This allows us to consider the Spontaneity (i.e. causelessness, the lack of any causation or volition) as among the ‘causal’ explanations of things.

A study of the field of causality must also include an investigation of non-causality in all its forms. For, as we shall see, even if we were to consider spontaneity impossible, the existence of causality in one form or other between things in general does not imply that any two things taken at random are necessarily causally related or causally related in a certain way. We need both positive and negative causal propositions to describe the relations between things.

… [causal logic] has three major goals, as does the study of any other type of human discourse.

(a)Todefinewhat we mean by [causality] (or its absence) and identify and classify the various forms it might take.

(b)To work out thedeductiveproperties of [causal] propositions, i.e. how they are opposed to each other (whether or not they contradict each other, and so forth), what else can be immediately inferred from them individually (eduction), and what can be inferred from them collectively in pairs or larger numbers (syllogism).

(c)To explain how [causal] propositions are, to start with,inducedfrom experience, or constructed from simpler propositions induced from experience.

Most endless debates about causality in the history of philosophy have arisen due to failure to first deal with technical issues.Once these goals [technical] are fulfilled, in a credible manner (i.e. under strict logical supervision), we shall have a clearer perspective on wider [epistemological and ontological] issues….

Although I have now published most of the results my research to date on this subject, it does not mean that I consider the research completed. I hope in the years to come (G-d willing) to further clarify various issues, and solve various outstanding problems.

I know from past experience that as one advances in one’s research, one’s accumulated discoveries often encourage a radical review of many initial positions and approaches. Such a ‘revolution’ occurred for me in passing fromPhase OnetoPhase TwoofThe Logic of Causation, for instance.This is precisely the point and the nice thing about such research, that it makes it possible for our thinking to evolve. If our opinions are the same at the beginning of it as at the end, it cannot have been of much use! The justification of research work is how much it enriches our thought, broadening our scope and teaching us nuances, freeing us from ignorance and misconceptions.

So do come back here occasionally and check out developments. Thank you for your interest!

Avi Sion.

The Logic of Causation

Volition and Allied Causal Concepts