## "is a factor in" wrt causality?

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jmjm

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### "is a factor in" wrt causality?

So the term "is a factor in" seems to denote a causal-like relationship as the involved causality can be partial. In other words, if B is a factor in development of C, then B could be just one of many things that could affect C.
is there any formulation for the "is a factor in" relation?

Mine is as follows.
Unlike a full causal relation where B (cause) -> C (effect), implies that whenever B exists C occurs and whenever B doesn't exist C doesn't occur, an "is a factor in" only means B (cause) -> C (effect) does occur only in some cases.

Daily_Double

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### Re: "is a factor in" wrt causality?

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Last edited by Daily_Double on Fri Nov 15, 2013 12:38 am, edited 1 time in total.

nooooo

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### Re: "is a factor in" wrt causality?

+1

I assume wrt = warrants.

Funny, I had a similar problem a few minutes ago and I had the same internal dialogue.

tsutsik

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### Re: "is a factor in" wrt causality?

'wrt' = 'with respect to'

iamgeorgebush

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### Re: "is a factor in" wrt causality?

Daily_Double wrote:Ignoring the fact that I literally have no idea what "wrt," means, and assuming I understand your question---whether the phrase "is a factor in," establishes a causal relationship---the answer is generally yes. However, if you could provide me with an example, that would make this much easier.

The reason I said that the phrase "is a factor in," generally establishes a causal relation is because the phrase itself really means "contributes to," which does establish a causal relation. For example, consider the following hypothetical stimulus:

Mortgaged backed securities were a factor in the financial crisis. What this phrase means is that mortgaged back securities were a contributing factor in the resulting effect, the financial crisis. However, the phrase does not establish that the are the only cause, simply that they were one cause. Subprime mortgages could have been the only cause, but other contributing factors could also relate to the LIBOR scandal and/or a misalignment of incentives between mortgage originators, valuers, and traders.

Thus, the phrase "is a factor in," establishes a contributing cause, which could or could not be the only cause of the resulting effect.

+1

Except it's "mortgage-backed securities," not "mortgaged backed securities." The securities are backed by mortgages (i.e., their value derives from those mortgages). That's one of the things that led to the whole mess (or, one might say, was "a factor in" in the whole mess): a bunch of people defaulted on their mortgages, and because these "mortgage-backed securities" were backed by the mortgages, the value of the securities very rapidly fell when those people defaulted on them. Then BOOM Lehmen and other investment banks are suddenly worth a lot less than before, they become insolvent, a chain reaction occurs, and everyone is all .

Daily_Double

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### Re: "is a factor in" wrt causality?

Ha, I definitely could have written it better, but I stopped previewing posts before I submit them a long time ago plus I always forget that dash mark. But we probably shouldn't get into the causes of the financial crisis here, that's what the pending suits and settlements---what's up Jamie Dimon---are for.

But the message is still clear. "A factor in," means it is one cause, perhaps the only cause, of some resulting effect.
Last edited by Daily_Double on Fri Nov 15, 2013 12:37 am, edited 1 time in total.

iamgeorgebush

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### Re: "is a factor in" wrt causality?

Didn't JPMorgan just settle for \$13B?

jordan15

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### Re: "is a factor in" wrt causality?

I really want to say "is a factor in" = necessary cause but I'm not sure, can someone please clarify?

iamgeorgebush

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### Re: "is a factor in" wrt causality?

jordan15 wrote:I really want to say "is a factor in" = necessary cause but I'm not sure, can someone please clarify?

Definitely not. It's neither necessary nor sufficient. It's just...a factor.

jordan15

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### Re: "is a factor in" wrt causality?

iamgeorgebush wrote:
jordan15 wrote:I really want to say "is a factor in" = necessary cause but I'm not sure, can someone please clarify?

Definitely not. It's neither necessary nor sufficient. It's just...a factor.

Hm. If I said "high quality cheese is a factor of a good pizza" it certainly seems necessary. Unless you wanted to argue that cheeseless pizza can also good, but in that case I think the first statement would be misleading unless rephrased "high quality cheese can be a factor of a good pizza."

And in an objective statement, such as "getting all logic games correct is a factor in getting a 180 on the LSAT," it is definitely a necessary condition. In a subjective version, "getting all logic games correct is a factor in doing well on the LSAT," you could argue that it's not necessary because some people have a different opinion of what "doing well" means. And in the sentence "getting all logic games correct is a factor in getting at least a 150 on the LSAT," wouldn't you say that since there are other combinations of scores that don't involve perfect LGs that will get at least a 150, the sentence is flawed?

Of course, it doesn't matter how I try to reason it out...it has a specific logic definition that may be contrary to how we colloquially think of the word. Has anyone found an official source that states its meaning?

iamgeorgebush

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### Re: "is a factor in" wrt causality?

jordan15 wrote:
iamgeorgebush wrote:
jordan15 wrote:I really want to say "is a factor in" = necessary cause but I'm not sure, can someone please clarify?

Definitely not. It's neither necessary nor sufficient. It's just...a factor.

Hm. If I said "high quality cheese is a factor of a good pizza" it certainly seems necessary. Unless you wanted to argue that cheeseless pizza can also good, but in that case I think the first statement would be misleading unless rephrased "high quality cheese can be a factor of a good pizza."

And in an objective statement, such as "getting all logic games correct is a factor in getting a 180 on the LSAT," it is definitely a necessary condition. In a subjective version, "getting all logic games correct is a factor in doing well on the LSAT," you could argue that it's not necessary because some people have a different opinion of what "doing well" means. And in the sentence "getting all logic games correct is a factor in getting at least a 150 on the LSAT," wouldn't you say that since there are other combinations of scores that don't involve perfect LGs that will get at least a 150, the sentence is flawed?

Of course, it doesn't matter how I try to reason it out...it has a specific logic definition that may be contrary to how we colloquially think of the word. Has anyone found an official source that states its meaning?

Well, yes yes, in your examples it would appear necessary, but consider this example:

"Lehmen Brothers was a factor in the subprime mortgage crisis."

That doesn't mean that without Lehmen Brothers, the subprime mortgage crisis wouldn't have taken place. Perhaps some other investment bank would've played its role. Perhaps all the other factors were strong enough to have caused the crisis without any institution playing Lehmen's role.

Clearly, "is a factor in" need not mean "is necessary for." It might in certain contexts appear to imply necessity, but it doesn't "necessarily" do so.

As far as "specific logic definitions" go, I don't know and I don't know if you'll ever find such a source.