[Top] [All Lists]

Re: [ontolog-forum] Cause and chemical reactions

To: Alan Ruttenberg <alanruttenberg@xxxxxxxxx>, "Barker, Sean (UK)" <Sean.Barker@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Cc: ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
From: Pat Hayes <phayes@xxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 19 Jun 2007 10:29:51 -0500
Message-id: <p06230903c29da52309c9@[]>
>On Jun 19, 2007, at 5:00 AM, Barker, Sean (UK) wrote:
>>I found Aristotle's discussion of Causation in 
>>his Metaphysics very illuminating, particularly 
>>when translated into the context of chemical 
>I wonder if you could elaborate on this. The 
>specific problem I've worried about is the 
>assignment of agency or cause in the realm of 
>molecular biology, which would include chemical 
>reactions.    (01)

I'd also have a lot of trouble distinguishing 
material from efficient cases in the case of a 
simple chemical reaction.    (02)

Causation is very tricky to get right. Even the 
most common-sensical ideas about cause don't seem 
to apply to simple physical phenomena. Take for 
example Newton's first law applied to pressing 
against a wall. The wall presses back at you. 
Does your pressing the wall cause the wall's 
pressing you? It seems hard to say no. On the 
other hand, the two pressings are required (by 
Newton) to be simultaneous. So in this case the 
cause does not precede the effect. Hmmm.    (03)

Pat    (04)

>Background discussion is at 
>Message Archives: http://ontolog.cim3.net/forum/ontolog-forum/ 
>Subscribe/Config: http://ontolog.cim3.net/mailman/listinfo/ontolog-forum/ 
>Unsubscribe: mailto:ontolog-forum-leave@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
>Shared Files: http://ontolog.cim3.net/file/
>Community Wiki: http://ontolog.cim3.net/wiki/
>To Post: mailto:ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
>    (05)

IHMC            (850)434 8903 or (650)494 3973   home
40 South Alcaniz St.    (850)202 4416   office
Pensacola                       (850)202 4440   fax
FL 32502                        (850)291 0667    cell
phayesAT-SIGNihmc.us       http://www.ihmc.us/users/phayes    (06)

Message Archives: http://ontolog.cim3.net/forum/ontolog-forum/  
Subscribe/Config: http://ontolog.cim3.net/mailman/listinfo/ontolog-forum/  
Unsubscribe: mailto:ontolog-forum-leave@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Shared Files: http://ontolog.cim3.net/file/
Community Wiki: http://ontolog.cim3.net/wiki/ 
To Post: mailto:ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx    (07)

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>