Physics and Causation

Philosophy Compass 11 (5):256-266 (2016)
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More than a century ago, Russell launched a forceful attack on causation, arguing not only that modern physics has no need for causal notions but also that our belief in causation is a relic of a pre-scientific view of the world. He thereby initiated a debate about the relations between physics and causation that remains very much alive today. While virtually everybody nowadays rejects Russell's causal eliminativism, many philosophers have been convinced by Russell that the fundamental physical structure of our world doesn't contain causal relations. This raises the question of how to reconcile the central role of causal concepts in the special sciences and in common sense with the putative absence of causation in fundamental physics.



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Thomas Blanchard
University of Cologne

References found in this work

Causation.David Lewis - 1973 - Journal of Philosophy 70 (17):556-567.
Time and Chance.David Z. Albert - 2000 - Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
Two accounts of laws and time.Barry Loewer - 2012 - Philosophical Studies 160 (1):115-137.

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