Philosophical theses are sometimes assailed from so many sides that, even if they have not been refuted, it becomes difficult for them to gain a fair hearing. A case in point seems to be the thesis that the sentence ‘Every event has a cause' (commonly known as the Causal Principle) may on occasion be used to assert something which, as a matter of contingent fact, is either true or false. In the interests of logical chivalry, I want to take up its defence.
My aim, it should be noted, is not to defend the truth of the Causal Principle, to claim that our world is one in which every event is causally determined by another event or set of events. So I shall have nothing to say about the arguments of those who—like the quantum physicists, Heisenberg, Bohr, and Born—claim to have shown that the Causal Principle is false; claim, that is, that our world is fundamentally indeterministic. My concern is only to establish the right of determinists and indeterminists alike to take seriously the question whether our world is in fact one in which every event has a cause.