Must the microcausality condition be interpreted causally?: Beyond reduction and matters of fact

Theoria 15 (1):59-85 (2000)
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Abstract

The ’microcausality’ condition in quantum field theory is typically presented and justified on the basis of general principles of physical causality. I explore in detail a number of alternative causal interpretations of this condition. I conclude that none is fully satisfactory, independent of further and controversial assumptions about the object and scope of quantum field theories. In particular the stronger causalreadings require a fully reductionist and fundamentalist attitude to quantum field theory. I argue, in a deflationary spirit, for a reading of the ‘microcausality’ condition as merely a boundary condition, inspired by Relativity, that different possible formulations of quantum field theory must obey.

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Jordi Cat
Indiana University, Bloomington

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The Unity of Science.Jordi Cat - 2013 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

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