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Erkenntnis

, Volume 31, Issue 1, pp 77–108 | Cite as

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

  • Adrian Heathcote
Article

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.

Keywords

Field Theory Quantum Field Theory General Transference Quantum Theory Classical Mechanic 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Adrian Heathcote
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Traditional and Modern PhilosophyUniversity of SydneySydneyAustralia

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