more from G.E.M. Anscombe

Single Idea 4777

[catalogued under 26. Natural Theory / C. Causation / 6. Causation as primitive]

Full Idea

The word "cause" can be added to a language in which are already represented many causal concepts; a small selection: scrape, push, wet, carry, eat, burn, knock over, keep off, squash, make, hurt.

Gist of Idea

The word 'cause' is an abstraction from a group of causal terms in a language (scrape, push..)


G.E.M. Anscombe (Causality and Determinism [1971], p.93)

Book Reference

'Causation', ed/tr. Sosa,E. /Tooley,M. [OUP 1993], p.93

A Reaction

An interesting point, perhaps reinforcing the Humean idea of causation as a 'natural belief', or the Kantian view of it as a category of thought. Or maybe causation is built into language because it is a feature of reality…