I'm working on a science fiction universe in which time travel exists, in a very limited form, but it's useless, at least it's the intention that it be useless. To that end time travel, on the rare occasions that it occurs at all, can violate apparent physical causality but not "Decisional Causality". This is, in the scheme of things, a minor detail but the concept creates some very interesting literary opportunities and rather strange problems within the world.
The idea of decisional causality is that a decision, once made, creates a point of departure that governs the events that follow; so rather than actions having to follow a purely cause-effect framework you can get cases of decision-effect-cause. What I'm struggling with is creating a hard and fast logical framework that defines a decision as having been made. In particular I'm interested in who can make a decision about dispatching a starship:
I've come up with several levels at which such a decision might occur:
Governmental level decisions are made by elected officials of one kind or another these are likely to be general.
Organisational level decisions are those made by admirals and CEOs. This is probably the highest level at which a specific ship will be named and assigned a target.
Command level is the captain of a ship. They will know exactly where they're going and it's their ship.
Execution level means the guy on the bridge who pushes the "go" button.
And there is also the matter of timing; since decisions can be made long before any action can be taken when is a decision then to be considered made? When the action is considered or when the person making the decision follows through and sets things in motion?
I know this is a bit metaphysical but what I'm asking is when and at what level should a binding decision logically sit within the causal narrative of the story?