On time, causation and explanation in the causally symmetric Bohmian model of quantum mechanics

In Christophe Bouton & Philippe Huneman (eds.), Time of Nature and the Nature of Time. Springer International Publishing. pp. 139-172 (2017)
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Abstract

Quantum mechanics portrays the universe as involving non-local influences that are difficult to reconcile with relativity theory. By postulating backward causation, retro-causal interpretations of quantum mechanics could circumvent these influences and accordingly reconcile quantum mechanics with relativity. The postulation of backward causation poses various challenges for the retro-causal interpretations of quantum mechanics and for the existing conceptual frameworks for analyzing counterfactual dependence, causation and causal explanation. In this chapter, we analyze the nature of time, causation and explanation in a local, deterministic retro-causal interpretation of quantum mechanics that is inspired by Bohmian mechanics. This interpretation of quantum mechanics offers a deterministic, local ‘hidden-variables’ model of the Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen experiment that poses a new challenge for Reichenbach’s principle of the common cause. In this model, the common cause – the state of particles at the emission from the source – screens off the correlation between its effects – the distant measurement outcomes – but nevertheless fails to explain the correlation between the effects.

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Joseph Berkovitz
University of Toronto, St. George

Citations of this work

The temporal epistemic anomaly.Peter Riggs - 2018 - Manuscrito 41 (3):1-28.

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References found in this work

Nature's capacities and their measurement.Nancy Cartwright - 1989 - New York: Oxford University Press.
The Scientific Image.William Demopoulos & Bas C. van Fraassen - 1982 - Philosophical Review 91 (4):603.
Time and chance.David Z. Albert - 2000 - Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
Counterfactuals.David Lewis - 1973 - Foundations of Language 13 (1):145-151.

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