Home > Book Writing, Nonfiction, Philosophy > A Causal Posting About the Word Acausal

A Causal Posting About the Word Acausal

For my book, I had to decide on the word to use for an event without a cause. My options were “uncaused”, “non-causal”, “not causal”, and “acausal”. I ultimately, with much hesitation, decided on acausal. Each had their own issues. I ruled out “not causal” as “not causal event” and “not caused event” did not sound right. They did not flow. Non-causal sounded a little better, but not by much. It came down to “uncaused event” and “acausal event”. Since I wanted to use “causal event” for an event that was caused, it seemed to make sense to stay consistent and use “acausal event” since “uncausal event” did not seem to work.

I was concerned that the a- prefix might be confusing, but felt that people would become accustomed to the word quickly, and once they did it would be a better fit. There is no lack of defining and explaining what the word means in my book, and I repeat it in the beginning through different means. The a- prefix for the most part means: absence of, without, or lack of. An acausal event would be an event that is “without cause”. I think people who are not familiar with the word will catch on easily.

What is your take on using the a- prefix in this case? Should I have used “uncaused” instead?

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