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A Model of the UniverseSpace-Time, Probability, and Decision$
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Storrs McCall

Print publication date: 1996

Print ISBN-13: 9780198236221

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198236221.001.0001

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Causation and Laws of Nature

Causation and Laws of Nature

(p.48) 3 Causation and Laws of Nature
A Model of the Universe

Storrs McCall

Oxford University Press

This chapter focuses on the notion of cause in scientific philosophy and discusses David Hume's doctrine of ideas. Instead of finding the original of the idea of efficacy, power, or necessary connection in the world, Hume found it not in an impression of sensation but in an impression of reflection. The idea of necessary connection derives from the easy transition that the mind makes from the idea of the cause to that of the effect, after it has experienced the constant conjunction of the corresponding impressions. If the world is looked upon as a single four-dimensional course of events, or for that matter as a three-dimensional state of affairs with only one successor-state, then Hume's conclusion seems justified.

Keywords:   cause and effect, laws of nature, ideas, David Hume, sensation, reflection, impression

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