Re: [xmca] Artifacts, Tools, Classroom and AERA

From: Wolff-Michael Roth (
Date: Fri Jan 20 2006 - 15:47:35 PST

Hi Bill,

This doesn't stick. Look at any accepted use of cause and effect in
the science and scientific literature. It always establishes a
relationship between two or more factors, and this in quantitative way.

My ouch is not caused by your sticking, because there are lots of
stickings that do not lead to saying ouch. If you want to use this as
an example, then you relate the force of sticking or the depth of
penetration to the intensity of the pain. And then you have exactly
what I am talking about.

The other is folk science.


On 20-Jan-06, at 2:50 PM, bb wrote:

> Hi all,
> it is easy to slip into a discourse that separates tools and
> artifacts from other things, which happens here, too. We then think
> in terms of "effects" that one thing has on another--but effects
> imply causal relations, which are quantitative rather than
> qualitative, which they need to be if they mediate. . .

Oh, cause and effect are not strictly quantitative. Engage in this
thought experiment. Suppose I stick you with a pin and you say
"ouch". The action of sticking with a pin is arguably the cause of
the action of uttering "ouch", and there is no quantitative relation
necessary, unless perhaps I repeat with needles of increasing size.


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