In Search of Causation, Temporal Order, the Mind/Body Problem, Games and Civil Society: Peregrinations of a Journeyman Macroeconomist in Foreign Lands
“To know, Aristotle maintains, is to understand the causes of things.”
Recent results in psychology, and cognitive science, have been impacting the work of philosophers, and the former results have been enlightened by the careful consideration of their philosophical foundations. This paper considers whether some of these recent approaches in philosophy and psychology might shed light on the temporal order of causality, and of Hume’s attachment to it, despite its detachment from the rest of his analysis. By its nature, this endeavor lies in the intersection of vast literatures; literatures which, frankly, the author has no chance of mastering. So if the results here are well known, or well known to be wrong, or manifestly foolish, or guilty of other such failings, hopefully the kind reader will so inform the author and not allow any natural reticence to stand in the way. The author’s own narrow interest in the topic of causality arose from the old question of whether economic development spurs financial developments, or whether financial developments enable economic development, and in what circumstances and in which aspects, and whether such questions are meaningful.
Keywords: Causation, Game Theory, Consciousness, Systems, Civil Society
Prof. John Bryant
Henry S. Fox Sr. Professor of Economics and Professor of Management, Department of Economics, Rice University