The Constraints General Relativity Places on Physicalist Accounts of Causality

Theoria: Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia 15 (1):33-58 (2000)
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Abstract

All accounts of causality that presuppose the propagation or transfer or some physical stuff to be an essential part of the causal relation rely for the force of their causal claims on a principle of conservation for that stuff. General Relativity does not permit the rigorous formulation of appropriate conservation principles. Consequently, in so far as General Relativity is considered and fundamental physical theory, such accounts of causality cannot be considered fundamental. The continued use of such accounts of causality ought not be proscribed, but justification is due from those who would use them.

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Erik Curiel
Ludwig Maximilians Universität, München

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