more from J.L. Mackie

Single Idea 8335

[catalogued under 26. Natural Theory / C. Causation / 8. Particular Causation / c. Conditions of causation]

Full Idea

A necessary causal condition is closely related to a counterfactual conditional: if no-cause then no-effect, and a sufficient causal condition is closely related to a factual conditional (Goodman's phrase): since cause-here then effect.

Gist of Idea

Necessary conditions are like counterfactuals, and sufficient conditions are like factual conditionals


J.L. Mackie (Causes and Conditions [1965], 4)

Book Reference

'Causation', ed/tr. Sosa,E. /Tooley,M. [OUP 1993], p.48

A Reaction

The 'factual conditional' just seems to be an assertion that causation occurred (dressed up with the logical-sounding 'since'). An important distinction for Lewis. Sufficiency doesn't seem to need possible-worlds talk.