Authors
Sally Shrapnel
University of Queensland
Abstract
It is widely held that it is difficult, if not impossible, to apply causal theory to the domain of quantum mechanics. However, there are several recent scientific explanations that appeal crucially to quantum processes, and which are most naturally construed as causal explanations. They come from two relatively new fields: quantum biology and quantum technology. We focus on two examples, the explanation for the optical interferometer LIGO and the explanation for the avian magneto-compass. We analyse the explanation for the avian magneto-compass from the perspective of Woodward's interventionist theory and provide a causal model. Furthermore, we show how worries expressed by Woodward about quantum causation are circumvented in these cases, concluding that these kinds of explanations are most naturally construed as causal.
Keywords Interventionist causation  Causal modelling  Quantum mechanics  Avian magnetoreception
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DOI 10.1007/s13194-014-0094-5
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References found in this work BETA

Explaining the Brain.Carl F. Craver - 2009 - Oxford University Press.
Causality.Judea Pearl - 2000 - Cambridge University Press.
Causality: Models, Reasoning and Inference.Judea Pearl - 2000 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 64 (1):201-202.

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Citations of this work BETA

Discovering Quantum Causal Models.Sally Shrapnel - 2019 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 70 (1):1-25.

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