## When is it cause, not correlation?

Prepare for the LSAT or discuss it with others in this forum.
Audio Technica Guy

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Joined: Tue Jun 29, 2010 5:21 pm

### Re: When is it cause, not correlation?

skip james wrote:
Audio Technica Guy wrote:yeah, there has never been a single question on the LSAT were causation was successfully proven. LSAC would likely shy away from this, because there isn't a logically agreed upon definition of the word causation. It would be too ripe for counterargument.

So, on the LSAT, the only possible way you can have causation is if a premise straight up tells you it is, without a doubt, causation. Off the top of my head, I can't actually recall any question that did that either.
whoops.. Didn't read this last bit.

But from my recollection there have been a couple (though rare) valid causal arguments.

From what I remember the answers are usually phrased something like, 'doing blah increases risk of something blah'

Yeah, I have this feeling that there are a couple of valid causal arguments questions that have been put out there, I just can't remember any, and nobody has pointed any out. Also, it depends on what you call a causal argument as well. Saying that X increases the risk of Y, under most definitions of causality, isn't actually causality. Which is the whole problem. There's no universally agreed upon logical/philosophical definition of what x causes y means. There is:

Every time X happens Y happens in all possible worlds (some say this means that X causes Y)
Every time Y happens X happened in all possible worlds (again, this is another definition of x causes y)
If X happens Y is more likely to happen
If Y happened X is more likely to have happened
Every time X happens Y happens and every time Y happens X happened, in all possible worlds (strict causality, which is known to be basically impossible to prove)

So, since LSAC isn't in the business of defining which of these causation means, it's hard to say there are valid causal arguments.