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Backward causation

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (2008)

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  1. Time Travel Without Causal Loops.Bradley Monton - 2009 - Philosophical Quarterly 59 (234):54-67.
    It has sometimes been suggested that backwards time travel always incurs causal loops. I show that this is mistaken, by describing worlds where backwards time travel occurs and yet no causal loops occur. Arguments that backwards time travel can occur without causal loops have been given before in the literature, but I show that those arguments are unconvincing.
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  • Boucles causales dans le voyage dans le temps.Nicolae Sfetcu - manuscript
    À propos de la possibilité de voyager dans le temps sur la base de plusieurs ouvrages spécialisés, notamment ceux de Nicholas J. J. Smith (« Time Travel »), William Grey (« Troubles with Time Travel »), Ulrich Meyer (« Explaining causal loops »), Simon Keller and Michael Nelson (« Presentists should believe in time-travel »), Frank Arntzenius and Tim Maudlin (« Time Travel and Modern Physics »), et David Lewis (« The Paradoxes of Time Travel »). L'article commence par une (...)
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  • How To Be Rational: How to Think and Act Rationally.David Robert - manuscript
    This book is divided into 2 sections. In Section 1 (How to think rationally), I address how to acquire rational belief attitudes and, on that basis, I consider the question whether one ought to be skeptical of climate change. In Section 2 (How to act rationally), I address how to make rational choices and, on that basis, I consider the questions whether one is rationally required to do what one can to support life-extension medical research and, more broadly, whether one (...)
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  • Wholes That Cause Their Parts: Organic Self-Reproduction and the Reality of Biological Teleology.Thomas Teufel - 2011 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 42 (2):252-260.
    A well-rehearsed move among teleological realists in the philosophy of biology is to base the idea of genuinely teleological forms of organic self-reproduction on a type of causality derived from Kant. Teleological realists have long argued for the causal possibility of this form of causality—in which a whole is considered the cause of its parts—as well as formulated a set of teleological criteria of adequacy for it. What is missing, to date, is an account of the mereological principles that govern (...)
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  • On Time, Causation and Explanation in the Causally Symmetric Bohmian Model of Quantum Mechanics.Joseph Berkovitz - 2017 - In Christophe Bouton & Philippe Huneman (eds.), Time of Nature and the Nature of Time. Springer International Publishing. pp. 139-172.
    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, (...)
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  • Buclele cauzale în călătoria în timp.Nicolae Sfetcu - manuscript
    În această lucrare analizez posibilitatea călătoriei în timp pe baza mai multor lucrări de specialitate, printre care cele ale lui Nicholas J.J. Smith ("Time Travel", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy”), William Grey (”Troubles with Time Travel”), Ulrich Meyer (”Explaining causal loops”), Simon Keller și Michael Nelson (”Presentists should believe in time-travel”), Frank Arntzenius și Tim Maudlin ("Time Travel and Modern Physics") și David Lewis (“The Paradoxes of Time Travel”). Lucrarea începe cu o Introducere în care fac o scurtă prezentare a (...)
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  • Pragmatism, Bohr, and the Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics.Reza Maleeh & Parisa Amani - 2013 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 27 (4):353-367.
    In this article, we argue that although Bohr's version of the Copenhagen interpretation is in line with several key elements of logical positivism, pragmatism is the closest approximation to a classification of the Copenhagen interpretation, whether or not pragmatists directly influenced the key figures of the interpretation. Pragmatism already encompasses important elements of operationalism and logical positivism, especially the liberalized Carnapian reading of logical positivism. We suggest that some elements of the Copenhagen interpretation, which are in line with logical positivism, (...)
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  • Newcomb’s Problem Isn’T a Choice Dilemma.Zhanglyu Li & Frank Zenker - 2021 - Synthese 199 (1-2):5125-5143.
    Newcomb’s problem involves a decision-maker faced with a choice and a predictor forecasting this choice. The agents’ interaction seems to generate a choice dilemma once the decision-maker seeks to apply two basic principles of rational choice theory : maximize expected utility ; adopt the dominant strategy. We review unsuccessful attempts at pacifying the dilemma by excluding Newcomb’s problem as an RCT-application, by restricting MEU and ADS, and by allowing for backward causation. A probability approach shows that Newcomb’s original problem-formulation lacks (...)
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  • Etiological Explanations: Illness Causation Theory.Olaf Dammann - 2020 - Boca Raton, FL, USA: CRC Press.
    Theory of illness causation is an important issue in all biomedical sciences, and solid etiological explanations are needed in order to develop therapeutic approaches in medicine and preventive interventions in public health. Until now, the literature about the theoretical underpinnings of illness causation research has been scarce and fragmented, and lacking a convenient summary. This interdisciplinary book provides a convenient and accessible distillation of the current status of research into this developing field, and adds a personal flavor to the discussion (...)
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  • No End in Sight: Causal Loops in Philosophy, Physics and Fiction.Richard Hanley - 2004 - Synthese 141 (1):123 - 152.
    There have been many objections to the possibility oftime travel. But all the truly interesting ones concern the possibility of reversecausation. What is objectionable about reverse causation? I diagnose that the trulyinteresting objections are to a further possibility: that of causal loops. I raisedoubts about whether there must be causal loops if reverse causation obtains; but devote themajority of the paper to describing, and dispelling concerns about, various kinds ofcausal loop. In short, I argue that they are neither logically nor (...)
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  • Is There an Independent Principle of Causality in Physics.John D. Norton - 2009 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 60 (3):475-486.
    Mathias Frisch has argued that the requirement that electromagnetic dispersion processes are causal adds empirical content not found in electrodynamic theory. I urge that this attempt to reconstitute a local principle of causality in physics fails. An independent principle is not needed to recover the results of dispersion theory. The use of ‘causality conditions’ proves to be the mere adding of causal labels to an already presumed fact. If instead one seeks a broader, independently formulated grounding for the conditions, that (...)
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  • Lessons of Bell's Theorem: Nonlocality, Yes; Action at a Distance, Not Necessarily.Wayne C. Myrvold - 2016 - In Shan Gao Mary Bell (ed.), Quantum Nonlocality and Reality: 50 Years of Bell's Theorem. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 238-260.
    Fifty years after the publication of Bell's theorem, there remains some controversy regarding what the theorem is telling us about quantum mechanics, and what the experimental violations of Bell inequalities are telling us about the world. This chapter represents my best attempt to be clear about what I think the lessons are. In brief: there is some sort of nonlocality inherent in any quantum theory, and, moreover, in any theory that reproduces, even approximately, the quantum probabilities for the outcomes of (...)
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  • Calling for explanation: the case of the thermodynamic past state.Dan Baras & Orly Shenker - 2020 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 10 (3):1-20.
    Philosophers of physics have long debated whether the Past State of low entropy of our universe calls for explanation. What is meant by “calls for explanation”? In this article we analyze this notion, distinguishing between several possible meanings that may be attached to it. Taking the debate around the Past State as a case study, we show how our analysis of what “calling for explanation” might mean can contribute to clarifying the debate and perhaps to settling it, thus demonstrating the (...)
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  • Asymmetry in the Unificationist Theory of Causal Explanation.Sansom Roger & Shields Jannai - 2018 - Synthese 195 (2):765-783.
    The unificationist theory of causal explanation offers a theory of causation and explanation with no causal primitives. Kitcher proposed that it offered an account of explanatory asymmetry, but his proposal has been criticized for being too dependent on contingent facts and surreptitiously supposing causal realism. In addition, critics have argued that unificationism cannot account for asymmetry in a world with symmetric laws of physics and is lead to accept backwards explanation in certain epistemic situations. Unificationism has been defended from some (...)
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  • Causal Loops in Time Travel.Nicolae Sfetcu - manuscript
    About the possibility of time traveling based on several specialized works, including those of Nicholas J. J. Smith ("Time Travel"), William Grey (”Troubles with Time Travel”), Ulrich Meyer (”Explaining causal loops”), Simon Keller and Michael Nelson (”Presentists should believe in time-travel”), Frank Arntzenius and Tim Maudlin ("Time Travel and Modern Physics"), and David Lewis (“The Paradoxes of Time Travel”). The article begins with an Introduction in which I make a short presentation of the time travel, and continues with a History (...)
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  • Paradoxes of Causal Loops in Spacetime.Nicolae Sfetcu - manuscript
    There is, among some scientists and philosophers, the idea that any theory that would allow the time travel would introduce causal issues. These types of temporal paradoxes can be avoided by the Novikov self-consistency principle or by a variation in the interpretation of many worlds with interacting worlds. The world in which we live has, according to David Lewis, a Parmenidean ontology: "a manifold of events in four dimensions," and the occupants of the world are the 4-dimensional aggregates of the (...)
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  • Is There an Independent Principle of Causality in Physics? A Comment on Matthias Frisch, 'Causal Reasoning in Physics.'.John D. Norton - unknown
    Earlier version on philsci-archive.pitt.edu; latest version.
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  • Correlation and Causality.Michael Hoppmann & Robert H. Ennis - unknown
    This paper provides an analysis of the argument from cause and effect and a comparison of its various types with the argument from correlation. It will be claimed that arguments from causality and from correlation should be treated as equivalent for argumentative purposes. The main advantages of this approach as well as possible theo-retical objections will be discussed.
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