chapter  12
16 Pages

Affecting particulars

The second question is the easier. First, to affect a particular event is to cause some fact about it: Kim's injection affects Don's death by causing it to be painless. Second, to affect a particular thing is to cause either a fact about it or a change in it, which may be a fact or an event. Thus when I see a thing stay put, it affects me by causing me to keep my previous belief about where it is, a fact that is not a change in me. When I see a thing move, on the other hand, it affects me by causing a change in my belief about where it is. This is why affecting a particular, whether it be an event or a thing, is always a causal matter: it is always a case of causing either a fact about the affected particular or a change in it.