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Re: [ontolog-forum] Cause and chemical reactions

To: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Cc: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, "Barker, Sean (UK)" <Sean.Barker@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Alan Ruttenberg <alanruttenberg@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 19 Jun 2007 21:10:07 -0400
Message-id: <3B7A6AB7-4EEA-401D-8BE7-FA8C171CD7FE@xxxxxxxxx>
Or the cold winter whose temperature changes led to the stress in the  
pipes, or the plumber who sold you substandard copper piping, or the  
worker who didn't heat up the pipe enough before applying the solder....    (01)

-Alan    (02)

On Jun 19, 2007, at 9:04 PM, Alan Ruttenberg wrote:    (03)

> On Jun 19, 2007, at 7:55 PM, John F. Sowa wrote:
>> Pat,
>> The distinction is very clear:
>> > I'd also have a lot of trouble distinguishing
>> > material from efficient cases in the case of
>> > a simple chemical reaction.
>> If you have a gas leak in your house, the gas and
>> surrounding air are the material causes, and a spark
>> that triggers an explosion is the efficient cause.
> It may be clear to you, but not to me. How did you come to this  
> conclusion? What are you using as the definition of efficient  
> cause? How can I write a program to calculate which things are  
> efficient causes? Why isn't the hole in the pipe that leaks the  
> efficient cause? Or the gas?
> -Alan
>> In particular, Aristotle's four aitia (translated
>> to Latin as causae) were four methods of explanation.
>> The meaning of the word changed when Hume and others
>> focused on the efficient cause as the "true" cause.
>> But that doesn't make the other three less important
>> as bases for explanations.
>> John
>    (04)

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