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Evidence for Interactive Common Causes. Resuming the Cartwright-Hausman-Woodward Debate

Näger, Paul M. (2021) Evidence for Interactive Common Causes. Resuming the Cartwright-Hausman-Woodward Debate. [Preprint]

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Abstract

The most serious candidates for common causes that fail to screen off (“interactive common causes”, ICCs) and thus violate the causal Markov condition (CMC) refer to quantum phenomena. In her seminal debate with Hausman and Woodward, Cartwright early on focussed on unfortunate non-quantum examples. Especially, Hausman and Woodward's redescriptions of quantum cases saving the CMC remain unchallenged. This paper takes up this lose end of the discussion and aims to resolve the debate in favour of Cartwright's position. It systematically considers redescriptions of ICC structures, inlcuding those by Hausman and Woodward, and explains why these do not provide an appropriate description, when quantum mechanics is true. It first shows that all cases of purported quantum ICCs are cases of entanglement and then, using the tools of causal modelling, it provides an analysis of the quantum mechanical formalism for the case that the collapse of entangled systems is best described as a causal model with an ICC.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Näger, Paul M.paul.naeger@wwu.de0000-0002-0251-2531
Keywords: interactive common causes; screening-off; causal Markov condition; Reichenbach's principle of the common cause; modularity; independent fixability; independent disruptability; entanglement; EPR experiments; causal modelling; interventionist theories of causation; causal Bayes nets
Subjects: General Issues > Causation
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Mechanics
Depositing User: Dr. Paul M. Näger
Date Deposited: 27 Apr 2021 03:50
Last Modified: 27 Apr 2021 03:50
Item ID: 18954
Subjects: General Issues > Causation
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Mechanics
Date: 13 March 2021
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/18954

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