Causation a Form of One-Sided Existential Dependence

It should be noted that in (Ingthorsson 2002) I claimed that causes preceded their effects in time, even though I also argued that an influence and the change it produces happen in the way I describe above, wherefore (P7) represents a change in my account. In 2002 I was too conformist and wanted to find something that could roughly resemble the cause-effect relation depicted by the traditional two-place model. But the result was that I did not adequately distinguish my understanding of the mechanism of production (interaction) from my understanding of the relationship between the products of that mechanism, i.e. between the successive states of affairs that interactions produce. I now turn to describe the latter, i.e. what is the relation between the state destroyed in an interaction and the state produced by that very same interaction. I believe it is a kind of one-sided existential dependence and that it is this relation that has traditionally been identified as the causal relation.

Strictly speaking, it is the interaction between the parts of the compound substance that produces a change in the compound from one state to another, the states themselves are always products. That is, the interaction is the process in which the effect is produced. But, I suggest, the relation between any state from which the compound substance changes and the state to which it changes, due to the interaction, nevertheless be characterised as being one of producer to product, keeping in mind that it should only be understood as a relation of origin; one state comes into being out of the other. Any given state of a substance, although merely a temporary form of the substance, cannot be separated from the substance itself; the state cannot exist without the substance. If, as I have argued, the state to which the compound substance changes is necessarily constituted by the very same substance as the state from which it changes, then the state to which the compound changes is for its existence dependent on the state from which the compound changes, because the state to which it changes ‘inherits’ both the substance, and the character, from the state the compound changes from.

The temporally distinct states of any such compound, related as producer to product through the interactions of the parts of the compound, will then hold a relation of one-sided existential dependence; the state to which a compound substance changes is dependent for its existence upon the state from which the compound changes, but the state from which it changes is not dependent for its existence upon the state to which it changes.

(P8): The state produced by an interaction stands in a relation of onesided existential dependence to the state destroyed by that very same interaction.

 
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