Causal Semantic Relation

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A Causal Relation is a causal relationship that is a formal relation.




    • The account of causality we use here is that of Hobbs (2005). This distinguishes between the monotonic, precise notion of "causal complex" and the nonmonotonic, defeasible notion of "cause". The former gives us mathematical rigor; the latter is more useful for everyday reasoning and can be characterized in terms of the former. We begin with an abbreviated account of these concepts.
    • When we flip a switch to turn on a light, we say that flipping the switch caused the light to turn on. But for this to happen, many other factors had to be in place. The bulb had to be intact, the switch had to be connected to the bulb, the power had to be on in the city, and so on. We will use the predicate "cause" for flipping the switch, and introduce the predicate "causalComplex" to refer to the set of all the states and events that have to hold or happen for the effect to happen. Thus, the states of the bulb, the wiring, and the power supply would all be in the causal complex.





  • (Shoam, 1990) ⇒ Yoav Shoham. (1990). “Nonmonotonic reasoning and Causation.” In: Cognitive Science, 14.


  • (Lewis, 1973) ⇒ David K Lewis. (1973). “Counterfactuals. Harvard University Press.