International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 21 (3):295 – 328 (2007)
I discuss the idea of relativistic causality, i.e., the requirement that causal processes or signals can propagate only within the light-cone. After briefly locating this requirement in the philosophy of causation, my main aim is to draw philosophers' attention to the fact that it is subtle, indeed problematic, in relativistic quantum physics: there are scenarios in which it seems to fail. I set aside two such scenarios, which are familiar to philosophers of physics: the pilot-wave approach, and the Newton-Wigner representation. I instead stress two unfamiliar scenarios: the Drummond-Hathrell and Scharnhorst effects. These effects also illustrate a general moral in the philosophy of geometry: that the mathematical structures, especially the metric tensor, that represent geometry get their geometric significance by dint of detailed physical arguments.
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References found in this work BETA
Scientific Explanation and the Causal Structure of the World.Wesley Salmon - 1984 - Princeton University Press.
Philosophical Papers, Volume 1: Mathematics, Matter, and Method.Hilary Putnam (ed.) - 1979 - Cambridge University Press.
Bangs, Crunches, Whimpers, and Shrieks: Singularities and Acausalities in Relativistic Spacetimes.John Earman - 1995 - Oxford University Press.
A System of Logic, Ratiocinative and Inductive.John Stuart Mill - 1843 - University of Toronto Press.
Citations of this work BETA
Relativistic Causality in Algebraic Quantum Field Theory.John Earman & Giovanni Valente - 2014 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 28 (1):1-48.
Does the Reeh–Schlieder Theorem Violate Relativistic Causality?Giovanni Valente - 2014 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 48:147-155.
Space–Time Philosophy Reconstructed Via Massive Nordström Scalar Gravities? Laws Vs. Geometry, Conventionality, and Underdetermination.J. Brian Pitts - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 53:73-92.
Against Dogma: On Superluminal Propagation in Classical Electromagnetism.James Owen Weatherall - 2014 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 48:109-123.
Mach׳s Principle as Action-at-a-Distance in GR: The Causality Question.Carl Hoefer - 2014 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 48:128-136.
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