A theory of causality: Causality=interaction (as defined by a suitable quantum field theory) [Book Review]

Erkenntnis 31 (1):77 - 108 (1989)
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Abstract

In this paper I put forward a suggestion for identifying causality in micro-systems with the specific quantum field theoretic interactions that occur in such systems. I first argue — along the lines of general transference theories — that such a physicalistic account is essential to an understanding of causation; I then proceed to sketch the concept of interaction as it occurs in quantum field theory and I do so from both a formal and an informal point of view. Finally, I present reasons for thinking that only a quantum field theoretic account can do the job — in particular I rely on a theorem by D. Currie and to the effect that interaction cannot be described in (a Hamiltonian formulation of) Classical Mechanics. Throughout the paper I attempt to suggest that the widespread scepticism about the ability of quantum theory to support a theory of causality is mistaken and rests on several misunderstandings.

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Citations of this work

Truthmakers for negative truths.George Molnar - 2000 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 78 (1):72 – 86.
The fate of 'particles' in quantum field theories with interactions.Doreen Fraser - 2008 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 39 (4):841-859.
The supervenience argument generalizes.Thomas D. Bontly - 2002 - Philosophical Studies 109 (1):75-96.

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