Talk:Formal theory of causality

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Definition of cause and effect[edit]

Where is "Cause" defined? I don't see "Cause" defined as an axiom, or even a theorem. I'm not clear how the intuitive meaning of "cause" is formalized, grounded, or defined within this theory. Is "effect" the same as "event"? Thanks!

@Lbeaumont: "Cause" is not defined, it's listed as a primitive (see Formal theory of causality#Primitives) similar to the term "element" in set theory. "Effect", on the other hand, is defined as the converse of a cause (see Formal theory of causality#Effect). It's not the same as an event. An effect is an event that has a cause. All effects are events, but not all events are effects (for example, the Big Bang is not an effect). Cheers! --Felipe (discusscontribs) 18:17, 26 November 2016 (UTC)
Thanks for this, and I apologize for overlooking the causality primitive. Let me clarify my concern. I don't see anywhere within this scheme where you distinguish between a "cause" and any "prior event". Consider, for example the fallacy of Post hoc ergo propter hoc is the error of confusing a prior event with a cause. How does this scheme avoid this confusion? Also, would correlation imply causation under this scheme? Does the scheme in any way incorporate Mill's Methods for identifying causes as differentiated from other prior events? Thanks. --Lbeaumont (discusscontribs) 01:10, 27 November 2016 (UTC)
@Lbeaumont: Hm, this theory is not intended to be useful (though who knows if it ends up being so, someday). All this theory tries to do is describe the structure of causal relations. I have updated the description accordingly, thanks for making me realize! --Felipe (discusscontribs) 21:29, 27 November 2016 (UTC)