Reducing causality to transmission

Erkenntnis 48 (1):1-25 (1998)

Authors
Maximilian Kistler
Université paris 1
Abstract
The idea that causation can be reduced to transmission of an amount of some conserved quantity between events is spelled out and defended against important objections. Transmission is understood as a symmetrical relation of copresence in two distinct events. The actual asymmetry of causality has its origin in the asymmetrical character of certain irreversible physical processes and then spreads through the causal net. This conception is compatible with the possibility of backwards causation and with a causal theory of time. Genidentity, the persistence of concrete objects, can be given an explanation in causal terms. The transmission theory is shown to escape difficulties faced by two important alternative theories of causation: Salmon's (1984) Mark Transmission Theory and Dowe's (1992a) Conserved Quantities Theory.
Keywords Philosophy   Philosophy   Epistemology   Ethics   Logic   Ontology
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Reprint years 2004
DOI 10.1023/A:1005374229251
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