Causation and gerrymandered world lines: A critique of salmon

Philosophy of Science 69 (1):105-117 (2002)
In this paper I examine Salmon's response to two counterexamples to his conserved quantity (CQ) theory of causation. The first counterexample that I examine involves a time‐wise gerrymandered world line of a series of patches of wall that is absorbing energy as a result of being illuminated in an astrodome. Salmon says that since the gerrymandered world line does not fulfill his “no‐interaction requirement,” his CQ theory does not suffer from the counterexample. But I will argue that his response fails both at a theoretical level and at a practical level. In so doing I point out a problem for CQ theorists' definition of a causal interaction. The second counterexample is concerned with a time‐wise gerrymandered world line of a series of patches that are in shadow, in Hitchcock's well‐known example. Salmon's response is based on a principle that Salmon thinks is derivable from the concept of a conserved quantity. However, I argue that the principle has a counterexample.
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DOI 10.1086/338943
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