Causality (also referred to as causation, or cause and effect) is the natural or worldly agency or efficacy that connects one process (the cause) with another process or state (the effect), where the first is partly responsible for the second, and the second is partly dependent on the first. In general, a process has many causes, which are said to be causal factors for it, and all lie in its past. An effect can in turn be a cause of, or causal factor for, many other effects, which all lie in its future. Causality is metaphysically prior to notions of time and space.
Causality is an abstraction that indicates how the world progresses, so basic a concept that it is more apt as an explanation of other concepts of progression than as something to be explained by others more basic. The concept is like those of agency and efficacy. For this reason, a leap of intuition may be needed to grasp it. Accordingly, causality is implicit in the logic and structure of ordinary language.
In Aristotelian philosophy, the word ’cause’ is also used to mean ‘explanation’ or ‘answer to a why question’, including Aristotle’s material, formal, efficient, and final “causes”; then the “cause” is the explanans for the explanandum. In this case, failure to recognize that different kinds of “cause” are being considered can lead to futile debate. Of Aristotle’s four explanatory modes, the one nearest to the concerns of the present article is the “efficient” one.
The topic remains a staple in contemporary philosophy.
The source of, or reason for, an event or action; that which produces or effects a result.
“They identified a burst pipe as the cause of the flooding.”
Sufficient reason for a state, as of emotion.
“There is no cause for alarm.”
“”The end of the war was a cause for celebration.”
A goal, aim or principle, especially one which transcends purely selfish ends.
Sake; interest; advantage.
Any subject of discussion or debate; a matter; an affair.
A suit or action in court; any legal process by which a party endeavors to obtain his claim, or what he regards as his right; case; ground of action.
To set off an event or action.
“The lightning caused thunder.”
To actively produce as a result, by means of force or authority.
“His dogged determination caused the fundraising to be successful.”
To assign or show cause; to give a reason; to make excuse.
The usage notes below.
“The effect of the hurricane was a devastated landscape.”
Impression left on the mind; sensation produced.
Execution; performance; realization; operation.
An illusion produced by technical means (as in “special effect”)
“The effect of flying was most convincing.”
An alteration, or device for producing an alteration, in sound after it has been produced by an instrument.
“I use an echo effect here to make the sound more mysterious.”
“I just bought a couple of great effects.”
A scientific phenomenon, usually named after its discoverer.
Belongings, usually as personal effects.
Consequence intended; purpose; meaning; general intent; with to.
Reality; actual meaning; fact, as distinguished from mere appearance.
Manifestation; expression; sign.
To make or bring about; to implement.
“The best way to effect change is to work with existing stakeholders.”
misspelling of affect