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Úvod do typologie kauzálního myšlení

Filozofia, 26 (1971), 5, 463-481.
Typ článku: State a diskusie
The author deals with the contemporary causal thinking as it is used in common life, in science, in journalistics and in political and economic analyses. He points out that this thinking has many forms: from the very simple proceeding to very complicated proceedings that pass continually into structural-dynamic or structural-dialetictical forms. The simplest interpretations reasoning about one cause and one consequence simplify very strongly the objective dialectics of events, but they catch the objective relation that in a certain regard (točka zrenija) and situation appears as the most important. That is why we always think like this in practical life and often also in applied sciences. As late as in the 19th century, when some sciences (and, of course, the German classical philosophy, too) had been for a long time applying much more complicated proceedings, the piece of knowledge that there are usually more causes began to assert itself. The conception of more causes would, of course, dangerously approach the flat conditionalism had it not differentiated the antecedent factors with respect to their substantiality. In natural languages this is done in various ways: by adjectives (main, subsidiary), adverbs, verbs (to make, to co-operate) and especially by nouns: the cause, the condition and the circumstance (the attempts at differentiating these notions are otherwise not generally valid.) An even more complicated form of causal thinking originates if we reflect also the mutual relations among antecedent factors (causes, conditions etc.), eventually also the regressive operation of the consequence upon one of the antecedents, which often occurs if the antecedent and the consequence last simultaneously. Such relatively complicated analyses are not so rare as it might seem at the first sight. This form occurs — besides extensive scientific treatises — sometimes also in relevant political or economic analyses addressed to broad strata of population (examples are introduced in the paper). This is given by the relevance of the theme and by the need to show the citizens of the socialist state the situation in its full complexity. The paper deals then with some further problems and concludes in an occount of the difference between knowledge and communication, between a form of the picture of objective reality in our mind and a topical statement. The form of causal interpretation is given, first of all, by the reality itself, further by its record in the speaker’s (eventually — writer’s) mind and by the aim of the communication (i. e. also by the personality of the recipient and the general situation). That is why even he who can see the processes in their many objective connections can express himself simply; the capability of expressing oneself simply may even testify the speaker’s great mastery. In spite of that the capability of seeing reality in rich connections and to present this picture to other men belongs to the very valuable capacities of the man on the treshold of the scientific-technological revolution. Therefore our knowledge and communication ought to be so rich in contents and form, as their aim requires and the situation allows.
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