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Causation is an everyday notion that we often employ unblinkingly to navigate the contingencies of our lives. We take it for granted that putting your hand in boiling water will cause your skin to blister, alcohol on a scratch will cause the sensation of burning pain, and pressing the brake pedal will cause the car to stop. We also more or less accept that smoking can cause lung cancer, that wanting to return a book can cause a student to walk into the library, and that inadequate preparation will likely cause low exam performance. But does “cause” have the same meaning in all of these cases? The temporal and logical relationships between these events, as well as the nature of the events themselves and their ...

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