Causality speaks to the relationship between cause and effect, the way we understand the world. Causation pertains to the relationship between events in sequential time and/or the relationship between properties of a system. In reductive science, causation is sought through the reduction of properties to underlying substrates, a system of backtracking to quantify hierarchies of causes for particular as well as cumulative effects, and the search for ultimate (or final) cause.
Metaphysically, Aristotle described four levels of causality which apply to the relationships between phenomena and their causes:
1. Physical Cause - the things from which an effect is produced; parts, constituents, substratus, materials.
2. Formal Cause - Examination of cause in terms of teleology; the function of effects in the context of a greater whole (part-whole causation).
3. Efficient Cause - Description of an effect's cause from the standpoint of external agency or causal events. Can be limited to apparent or relevant causal events.
4. Final Cause - Explanation of effect in terms of ultimate cause(s), from the standpoint of the purpose, or end, that a given effect is observed to serve. Final causation is taken a step further than Formal causation in terms of an overall system, and usually refers to a philosophical or metaphysical framework as opposed to a practical or utilitarian framework.
In logic, causation [if A, then B] is classified either as Necessary or Sufficient causes. Necessary causation argues that if B is observed, it implies the presence of cause A. However, the presence of cause A does not imply the necessary presence of effect B.
Sufficient causation argues that if there is an alternative cause C for effect B, the presence of B does not imply the necessary presence of cause A, even though cause A is sufficient to postulate as [a] cause of B.
The several levels of causal relationships are denied in Eliminativism, as expounded by Bertrand Russel. In Eliminativm, causation is a naive animistic projection of agency onto the world, something to be superseded in a sophisticated scientific scheme, in which science has no need for causation.
Web Resources On Causality
Causality, archived papers and discussions
Book Resources On Causality
Causality: Models, Reasoning, and Inference by Judea Pearl
Causation (Oxford Readings in Philosophy) by Ernest Sosa and Michael Tooley, Eds.
Ontology, Causality and Mind by D.M. Armstrong, John Bacon and Keith Campbell, Eds.