On Grunbaum and retrocausation in classical electrodynamics

Philosophy of Science 46 (1):118-135 (1979)
A detailed analysis is made of Grunbaum's claim that the Abraham-Lorentz (AL) and Dirac-Lorentz (DL) equations have no bearing on causality. It is pointed out that (a) both equations are derived from F = ma, and thus should obey the same causality conditions as Newton's law, (b) independently of what boundary conditions are imposed, non-causal behavior is always along the same straight line as the force, (c) the distinction in status between laws and boundary conditions which Grunbaum imposes is one which is not always useful, especially since what is a law in one formulation of the theory can become a boundary condition in another, and thus it is argued that a complete theory must be such that laws and boundary conditions form a coherent whole, (d) the asymptotic boundary conditions that are applied are in agreement with experiment, (e) the AL equation is such that if the "effect," the acceleration as function of time, is known, then the "cause," the force, can be determined. In addition, it is noted that in the DL equation the acceleration at times later than t influences the acceleration at t. Finally, it is pointed out that electrodynamics is indeed a causal field theory, and that retrocausality is due to the transition from a field description to a particle description
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 9,351
External links
  • Through your library Configure
    References found in this work BETA

    No references found.

    Citations of this work BETA

    No citations found.

    Similar books and articles

    Monthly downloads

    Sorry, there are not enough data points to plot this chart.

    Added to index


    Total downloads

    1 ( #305,979 of 1,088,370 )

    Recent downloads (6 months)

    1 ( #69,449 of 1,088,370 )

    How can I increase my downloads?

    My notes
    Sign in to use this feature

    Start a new thread
    There  are no threads in this forum
    Nothing in this forum yet.