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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)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


any immediate, or more indirect, factor precipitating an outcome. See also CAUSALITY AND CAUSAL RELATIONSHIP.
Collins Dictionary of Sociology, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2000
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



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.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


Actions, omissions, events, conditions, or a combination thereof, which led to the accident or incident investigation (ICAO).
An Illustrated Dictionary of Aviation Copyright © 2005 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved
References in periodicals archive ?
On the other hand, people who come to the table because they think that interfaith work implies making common cause with diverse people on justice issues are likely to be just as turned off if they find that we are nothing but a mutual-enrichment club that arranges high teas full of polite talk.
Making common cause, his enemies had him deposed (August 403) by the rigged Synod of the Oak.
She concludes that economic self-interest would be a main motivation and that if gender and race appear to be barriers to advancement, there may be interest in making common cause with one's fellow workers.
Given that the British Empire was moribund anyway, was it ever worth making common cause, even rhetorically, with a tyrant like Stalin under the slogan of anti-imperialism?
* In the last few days, the surviving elements of Saddam Hussein's criminal gang and the terrorists with whom they are making common cause have mounted a number of terrorist attacks aimed at stopping the progress that is being made toward building a free Iraq and to take the country back into the dark prison of tyranny.
Rather, Coughlin shows how his alliances with al-Qaida and the Palestinian terrorist leader Abu Nidal (whom, Coughlin claims, Saddam had murdered for defying him) are pure convenience, making common cause as they do against the hated America.
Reich came in support of anti-corruption initiatives, promising "total support of President Bolanos and the fight against corruption." Ortega took advantage of an opportunity to distance himself from any perception that he may be making common cause with the former adversary by calling US leaders "enemies of humanity." Reich took the bait saying that if Ortega "wants to be part of the future and not of the past, he must reconsider his words."
Actually it would only be making common cause with the Taliban--by raping once again the people they've been raping all this time.
With this history, it's no surprise they don't mind making common cause with the party of Ashcroft.
But by making common cause with the Defenders in 1798, they threw away a golden opportunity to advance democracy and were drawn into what became a sectarian blood bath.
"Making common cause to protect our craft has to be done in the clubby and somewhat academic confines of an organization like SPJ because if we started what they have in Britain, a National Union of Journalists, people and corporations that own the places where we work would go nuts" he said.
Making common cause, environmental and neighborhood groups haven't opposed casinos in commercial areas, but are vigorously fighting them in pristine wetlands zoned for recreation and other such uses by the state's Coastal Zone Management Plan.