Uwagi o pojęciu przyczynowości u Jana Łukasiewicza


  • Zbigniew Wolak


logical analysis, necessity, induction, implication, the paradox of causality, irreversibility, post hoc and propter hoc


Remarks on the Jan Łukasiewicz’s concept of causality: Jan Łukasiewicz, a prominent Polish logician and philosopher, dealt with the scientific analysis of the concept of cause using logic. He wanted first and foremost to construct a definition, which reconciles the irreversibility of causal relationship to the exclusion of time sequence. In this article, I show that his attempts led to many contradictions, paradoxes and inconsistencies between Łukasiewicz’s definitions and commonly recognized examples of causality, even those given by the author himself. First, I present the semantic and formal aspects of the definition proposed by him, and then I analyze examples, most of them proposed by the author. The main charges against his concept of causality are: the ambiguity of the concept of necessity; exclusion “for reasons of terminological” some causal phenomena from the range specified by the definition; paradoxes such as: the existence of the world is the cause of the existence of God; baseless demand, different subjects, and different features for cause and effect; disregard of the defnitive difference between post hoc and propter hoc; unjustified requirement of affirmative statements expressing a possession of attributes. The critique presented in this article is incomplete, but its function is to indicate both the value of logical analysis of philosophical concepts, and the dificulties of which such an analysis can entangle. Such an analysis can sometimes complete the process of defining certain concepts, but more often it provides an opportunity for further discussion and a better overall understanding.