Backward causation

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (2008)
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Sometimes also called retro causation. A common feature of our world seems to be that in all cases of causation, the cause and the effect are placed in time so that the cause precedes its effect temporally. Our normal understanding of causation assumes this feature to such a degree that we intuitively have great difficulty imagining things differently. The notion of backward causation, however, stands for the idea that the temporal order of cause and effect is a mere contingent feature and that there may be cases where the cause is causally prior to its effect but where the temporal order of the cause and effect is reversed with respect to normal causation, i.e. there may be cases where the effect temporally, but not causally, precedes its cause.



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Jan Faye
University of Copenhagen

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References found in this work

The Paradoxes of Time Travel.David K. Lewis - 1976 - American Philosophical Quarterly 13 (2):145-152.
Causation as influence.David Lewis - 2000 - Journal of Philosophy 97 (4):182-197.
Real Time.D. H. Mellor - 1981 - New York: Cambridge University Press.

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