A most interesting variety of multiple conjunctive causality is that in which the causal complex can be analyzed into a hierarchical gradation. The existence of multiple causation is one of the traits of the world that render both phenomenalism and fictionism possible. Niccolo Machiavelli’s causal chain is simple enough: loss of territory—war—large expenditures—heavy taxes—popular dissatisfaction—falls of the war council. Isolation, an assumption underlying every causal hypothesis, entails the assertion that there are entities that remain out of certain causal connections; and this is enough to defeat the doctrine of the universal causal interconnection. Causalism assumes that whatever can be explained at all is to be explained as the result of a cause or as a link in a causal chain. The causal principle involves continuity of action between the cause and the effect—that is, the absence of gaps in causal lines.