Why is the transference theory of causation insuffcient? The challenge of the Aharonov-Bohm effect

Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 63:12-23 (2018)
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Abstract

The transference theory reduces causation to the transmission of physical conserved quantities, like energy or momenta. Although this theory aims at applying to all felds of physics, we claim that it fails to account for a quantum electrodynamic effect, viz. the Aharonov-Bohm effect. After having argued that the Aharonov-Bohm effect is a genuine counter-example for the transference theory, we offer a new physicalist approach of causation, ontic and modal, in which this effect is embedded.

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Author Profiles

Alexandre Guay
Catholic University of Louvain
Vincent Ardourel
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique