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a. a ground for legal action; matter giving rise to a lawsuit
b. the lawsuit itself
2. (in the philosophy of Aristotle) any of four requirements for a thing's coming to be, namely material (material cause), its nature (formal cause), an agent (efficient cause), and a purpose (final cause)


any immediate, or more indirect, factor precipitating an outcome. See also CAUSALITY AND CAUSAL RELATIONSHIP.



a phenomenon that directly determines or gives rise to another phenomenon, the effect. In the real world all phenomena and processes are in a state of universal connection and interaction. The concept of “cause” presupposes the singling out of a particular group of phenomena or a system, within the framework of which a causal relation is established between particular phenomena and processes.

Every phenomenon is grounded in several others and is determined by them, its causes. In the process of cognition the researcher inevitably goes beyond the mere description of facts and turns to an investigation of the laws of their origin, development, and functioning, seeking the causes that determine the corresponding properties of a particular object. The movement of thought from description to causal explanation is the movement of cognition from outer to inner, from phenomenon to essence.

As the basis and essence of the effect, the cause functions as the originating and determining element in the relationship between phenomena. The interconnection and mutual conditioning of phenomena take an innumerable variety of forms. Accordingly, the types of causes are extremely diverse. In modern science causes are classified by the most varied criteria. Thus, depending on the nature of the causal relations, causes are classified as ideal and material, informational and energetic (energeticheskie), dynamic and statistical, simple and compound, single-factor and multiple-factor, systemic and nonsystemic, external and internal, primary and nonprimary, objective and subjective, and so on.

It is customary to distinguish the cause from the circumstances of its operation. In the social sciences, causes are distinguished from reasons—the processes contributing to the formation and manifestation of causes. Consideration of the diversity of phenomena gives rise to the conception of causality as a fundamental feature of reality.



Actions, omissions, events, conditions, or a combination thereof, which led to the accident or incident investigation (ICAO).
References in classic literature ?
In a review of these transactions we may trace some of the causes which would be likely to embroil the States with each other, if it should be their unpropitious destiny to become disunited.
If this remark be just, it becomes useful to inquire whether so many JUST causes of war are likely to be given by UNITED AMERICA as by DISUNITED America; for if it should turn out that United America will probably give the fewest, then it will follow that in this respect the Union tends most to preserve the people in a state of peace with other nations.
There are again two methods of removing the causes of faction: the one, by destroying the liberty which is essential to its existence; the other, by giving to every citizen the same opinions, the same passions, and the same interests.
Thus to cause France to lose Milan the first time it was enough for the Duke Lodovico[*] to raise insurrections on the borders; but to cause him to lose it a second time it was necessary to bring the whole world against him, and that his armies should be defeated and driven out of Italy; which followed from the causes above mentioned.
On the other hand, the proximity of an army causes prices to go up; and high prices cause the people's substance to be drained away.
There is due from the judge to the advocate, some commendation and gracing, where causes are well handled and fair pleaded; especially towards the side which obtaineth not; for that upholds in the client, the reputation of his counsel, and beats down in him the conceit of his cause.
When I say of whom, I mean whether they shall be the whole people, or some particulars; by for what causes I mean, how many different courts shall be appointed; by how, whether they shall be elected by vote or lot.
The historians tell us with naive assurance that its causes were the wrongs inflicted on the Duke of Oldenburg, the nonobservance of the Continental System, the ambition of Napoleon, the firmness of Alexander, the mistakes of the diplomatists, and so on.
In the second place, we may sometimes attribute importance to characters which are really of very little importance, and which have originated from quite secondary causes, independently of natural selection.
As we are very far from believing in any such heathen goddess, or from encouraging any superstition, so we wish Mr John Fr , or some other such philosopher, would bestir himself a little, in order to find out the real cause of this sudden transition from good to bad fortune, which hath been so often remarked, and of which we shall proceed to give an instance; for it is our province to relate facts, and we shall leave causes to persons of much higher genius.
This view may seem at first exaggerated, but the more our so-called volitions and their causes are examined, the more it is forced upon us.
I felt that I would have been willing to sacrifice my life for the Cause, if thereby I could have produced conviction.