International Journal of Theoretical Physics

, Volume 2, Issue 4, pp 351–372 | Cite as

The problem of causality in an indeterministic science

  • Henry Mehlberg


A differentiation between the principles of causality and strict determinism is suggested, the principle of strict determinism being considered to be incompatible with current scientific theory, while the principle of causality is supported by all contemporary scientific knowledge. In this paper the importance of the principle of causality in indeterministic causal theories is discussed, non-relativistic quantum mechanics being considered in detail. Indeterministic causality and its relation to relativistic quantum theory is also discussed.


Field Theory Elementary Particle Quantum Field Theory Quantum Mechanic Quantum Theory 
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.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Akhiezer, A. I. and Beresteckii, V. B. (1965).Quantum Electrodynamics. Interscience, New York, London.Google Scholar
  2. Bogoliubow, N. N. and Shirkov, D. V. (1959).Introduction to the Theory of Quantized Fields, Wiley, New York, London.Google Scholar
  3. Courant, R. and Hubert, D. (1965).Methods of Mathematical Physics, Vol. II. Interscience, New York, London.Google Scholar
  4. Dirac, P. A. M. (1935).The Principles of Quantum Mechanics, 2nd ed. Clarendon Press, Oxford.Google Scholar
  5. Feenberg, E. (1933).The Scattering of Slow Electrons in Neutral Atoms. Thesis, Harvard University.Google Scholar
  6. Feynman, R. P. (1949a). The Theory of Positrons.Physical Review,76, 749.Google Scholar
  7. Feynman, R. P. (1949b). Space-Time Approach to Quantum Electrodynamics.Physical Review,76, 769.Google Scholar
  8. Feynman, R. P. (1956). Space-Time Approach to Non-Relativistic Quantum Mechanics. In:Quantum Electrodynamics, ed. Schwinger, J.Google Scholar
  9. Feynman, R. P. and Hibbs, A. R. (1965).Quantum Mechanics and Path Integrals. McGraw-Hill, New York.Google Scholar
  10. Goldberger, M. L. (1960).Introduction to the Theory and Applications of Dispersion Relations. New York.Google Scholar
  11. Grunbaum, A. (1963).Philosophical Problems of Space and Time. Knopf, New York.Google Scholar
  12. Heitler, W. (1960).The Quantum Theory of Radiation. Clarendon Press, Oxford.Google Scholar
  13. Kant, I. (1781).Kritik der reinen Vernunft. Georg Reimer, Berlin.Google Scholar
  14. Kleene, S. C. (1962).Introduction to Mathematics. Amsterdam and Groningen.Google Scholar
  15. Mehlberg, H. (1958).The Reach of Science. Toronto University Press.Google Scholar
  16. Mehlberg, H. (1966). Relativity and the Atom. In:Mind Matter and Method. Minnesota University Press.Google Scholar
  17. Mehlberg, H. (1969) Indeterministic Causality, In:The Problem of Time. American Association for the Philosophy of Science.Google Scholar
  18. Schopenhauer, A. (1814).Uber die vierfache Wurzel des Satzes vom zureichenden Grunde. C. Bertelman, Gütersloh.Google Scholar
  19. Stückelberg, E. C. C. (1942).Helvetica physica acta,15, 23.Google Scholar
  20. Wigner, E. P. (1957). Relativistic Invariance and Quantum Phenomena.Reviews of Modern Physics,29, 255.Google Scholar
  21. Wigner, E. P. (1964).Events, Laws of Nature, and Invariance Principles. Nobel Prize Lectures.Google Scholar
  22. Wigner, E. P. (1967). What is the State-Vector? In:Reflections and Symmetries. Indiana Press, Bloomington.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Company Limited 1969

Authors and Affiliations

  • Henry Mehlberg
    • 1
  1. 1.The University of ChicagoUSA

Personalised recommendations