Philosophy Of The Cosmos - Causal Perspectivalism
I may have interpreted this wrong, but here is my take on the chapter in the course reader "Causal Perspectivalism" by Huw Price and some of its possible implications.
For those who haven't read it:
Essentially, the question being asked is "What does it mean for A to cause B".
To paraphrase Huw Price, these could be definitions:
B is an effect of A iff
(1)B is causally connected to A and occurs later than A
or (2)B is causally connected to A and B is at a higher entropy than A
or (3)B is causally connected to A and B lies in the temporal direction from A in which entropy typically increases
or (4) doing A means bringing about B ("reduction to the agents perspective")
Definition 1 defers to 2 or 3 because "the direction of deliberation follows that of increasing entropy" (from causal perspectivalism). Dayal talked about the psychological arrow of time.
Definitions 2 and 3 can be ruled out if counterexamples can be found, so if B occurs at lower entropy than A (or at the same entropy for definition 3) so these are not the best definitions.
Prices conclusion is that "causal reasoning …depends on the standpoint of the creatures [themselves]". That it is "grounded on the 'intrinsic' asymmetry of the users of the concept".
So, if our notion of causality is built into our minds, and since inductive reasoning depends on us being able to find patterns of cause and effect, then the laws of nature we use to explain these patterns may also be somehow "built in" to us. _Are we discovering them or inventing them?_
Since Price believes that causes are real, are the laws also real, or are they merely projections of our minds, imposed on nature?
I don't know, and I am not quite sure how to interpret Price's argument that causes depend on our perspective, and what the implications are.
Remember that we cant use the nature of our laws to explain that causality depends on perspective and use that causality depends on perspective to explain the nature of our laws (which i think I may have tried at one point !)
Maybe Einstein is right and we should just leave metaphysics alone.
Kathryn u 4845956
Lovely summary of a difficult paper. I'm not sure what else to add at the moment!
Jason