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The Illustrated Sutra of Cause and Effect. 8th century, Japan

Causality denotes a necessary relationship between one event (called cause) and another event (called effect) which is the direct consequence of the first.[1]

While this informal understanding suffices in everyday use, the philosophical analysis of how best to characterize causality extends over millennia. In the Western philosophical tradition, discussion stretches back at least as far as Aristotle, and the topic remains a staple in contemporary philosophy journals.

Though cause and effect are typically related to events, candidates include objects, processes, properties, variables, facts, and states of affairs; which of these make up the causal relata, and how best to characterize the relationship between them, remains under discussion.

  1. ^ Random House Unabridged Dictionary