Imagine a tow truck towing a tow truck. Now imagine the tow truck being towed is itself towing a tow truck. Keep adding to the series until we have enough to form a circle of tow trucks, all connected to each other (for any two trucks in the series, I am imagining the cable from a prior truck lifting the front of a posterior one). The question: are any tow trucks being towed?
To get at the question, let’s stipulate that two necessary conditions for towing are:
(i) There has to be at least one active member (doing the towing) and one passive member (being towed) in the series
(ii) Any passive member has to move uniformly relative to any active member
I. Yes, there is towing
Given the nature of the situation, transitivity seems to rule this option out. For example, let’s say there is just one active member towing, and the rest are passive. If we have a series that connects to form a circle, condition (ii) entails that the whole series is moving uniformly, or each member in the series is moving uniformly relative to the others. But if the series is moving uniformly, we could say with equal force that the active member is either being towed by the truck in front of it or pushed by the truck behind it. This is true no matter how many active or passive members are in the series, so long as (i) and (ii) hold.
II. No, there is no towing
I take this to be a violation of the clear ostensible fact that there is at least some towing going on.
Furthermore, nothing seems logically, metaphysically, or nomologically impossible about the situation, which is the case with most instances of circular causation.