## Need help with causation

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

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Joined: Tue Jan 04, 2011 11:26 pm

### Need help with causation

This is a more general topic that stems from a discussion in a thread dedicated to problem PT 30 S2 Q15 with bank loans.

The question is dealing with causation in general.

If A then B.

A ---> B

This is a conditional relationship with no certainty as to its causation factor.

Another way of stating this conditional relationship above is...

If A happens, then B WILL happen.

This is a conditional statement and as of right now in my understanding of the LSAT and causation, I do not know if there is causation involved.

Or am I incorrect in this regard?

Saying [ if something happens, then something else WILL HAPPEN ] is not enough to garner causality is it?

blsingindisguise

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### Re: Need help with causation

You are correct. "If A then B" is a truth relationship, not necessarily a causal relationship. For example, if you have a fever, then you are ill. The fever doesn't cause the illness, it's a symptom (in fact in that example, B causes A). Or "If you are in Manhattan, then you are in New York City" -- no causal relationship at all, just being in Manhattan necessarily means being in New York City.

Posts: 209
Joined: Tue Jan 04, 2011 11:26 pm

### Re: Need help with causation

blsingindisguise wrote:You are correct. "If A then B" is a truth relationship, not necessarily a causal relationship. For example, if you have a fever, then you are ill. The fever doesn't cause the illness, it's a symptom (in fact in that example, B causes A). Or "If you are in Manhattan, then you are in New York City" -- no causal relationship at all, just being in Manhattan necessarily means being in New York City.

Do you believe this is a causal relationship...

If regulations are relaxed then banks will loan more money.

I do not see that as necessarily a causal relationship. The word will in the necessary condition is intriguing because it makes you think that the sufficient condition is causing the action, but do we really know that?

bhan87

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Joined: Mon Mar 12, 2007 8:08 pm

### Re: Need help with causation

blsingindisguise wrote:You are correct. "If A then B" is a truth relationship, not necessarily a causal relationship. For example, if you have a fever, then you are ill. The fever doesn't cause the illness, it's a symptom (in fact in that example, B causes A). Or "If you are in Manhattan, then you are in New York City" -- no causal relationship at all, just being in Manhattan necessarily means being in New York City.

Do you believe this is a causal relationship...

If regulations are relaxed then banks will loan more money.

I do not see that as necessarily a causal relationship. The word will in the necessary condition is intriguing because it makes you think that the sufficient condition is causing the action, but do we really know that?

Sometimes it's the other way around where the necessary condition is causing the action. For example:

If Bob is drinking water, then he is dehydrated.
If the car engine is running, then the key was turned in the ignition.
If Jim has no money, then he has spent his money already.

Posts: 209
Joined: Tue Jan 04, 2011 11:26 pm

### Re: Need help with causation

When I read the explanation(s) for PT30 S2 Q15 I read that the conclusion is a causal one. Therefore a necessary assumption for that argument is that something else is not causing it either.

Can somebody help me understand this?