A theory of causality: Causality=interaction (as defined by a suitable quantum field theory) [Book Review]
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Erkenntnis 31 (1):77 - 108 (1989)
In this paper I put forward a suggestion for identifying causality in micro-systems with the specific quantum field theoretic interactions that occur in such systems. I first argue — along the lines of general transference theories — that such a physicalistic account is essential to an understanding of causation; I then proceed to sketch the concept of interaction as it occurs in quantum field theory and I do so from both a formal and an informal point of view. Finally, I present reasons for thinking that only a quantum field theoretic account can do the job — in particular I rely on a theorem by D. Currie and to the effect that interaction cannot be described in (a Hamiltonian formulation of) Classical Mechanics. Throughout the paper I attempt to suggest that the widespread scepticism about the ability of quantum theory to support a theory of causality is mistaken and rests on several misunderstandings.
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References found in this work BETA
Jerrold Aronson (1971). The Legacy of Hume's Analysis of Causation. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 2 (2):135-156.
Jerrold L. Aronson (1971). On the Grammar of 'Cause'. Synthese 22 (3-4):414 - 430.
Jerrold L. Aronson (1982). Untangling Ontology From Epistemology in Causation. Erkenntnis 18 (3):293 - 305.
D. Dieks (1981). A Note on Causation and the Flow of Energy. Erkenntnis 16 (1):103 - 108.
D. Dieks (1986). Physics and the Direction of Causation. Erkenntnis 25 (1):85 - 110.
Citations of this work BETA
John Earman & Doreen Fraser (2006). Haag's Theorem and its Implications for the Foundations of Quantum Field Theory. Erkenntnis 64 (3):305 - 344.
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Don Robinson (1994). The History and Philosophy of Quantum Field Theory. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1994:61 - 68.
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