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Interventions and Causality in Quantum Mechanics

Suárez, Mauricio (2013) Interventions and Causality in Quantum Mechanics. [Preprint]

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Abstract

I argue that the Causal Markov Condition (CMC) is in principle applicable to the Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen (EPR) correlations. This is in line with my defence in the past of the applicability of the Principle of Common Cause to quantum mechanics. I first review a contrary claim by Dan Hausman and Jim Woodward, who endeavour to preserve the CMC against a possible counterexample by asserting that the conditions for the application of the CMC are not met in the EPR experiment. In their view the CMC is inapplicable to the EPR correlations – i.e. it neither obtains nor fails. The view is grounded upon the non-separability of the quantum state, and the consequent unavailability of interventions. I urge that whether interventions are available in EPR – and why – is a complex and contextual question that does not have a unique or uniform answer. Instead, I argue that different combinations of causal hypotheses under test, and different interpretations of quantum mechanics, will yield different answers to the question.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Suárez, Mauriciomsuarez@filos.ucm.es
Additional Information: To appear in Erkenntnis, 2013
Keywords: Causal Inference, EPR correlations, Causal Markov Condition, Interventions, philosophy of quantum mechanics
Subjects: General Issues > Causation
General Issues > Determinism/Indeterminism
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Mechanics
Depositing User: Mauricio Suárez
Date Deposited: 11 Sep 2013 16:37
Last Modified: 11 Sep 2013 16:37
Item ID: 9992
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.1007/s10670-013-9509-5
Subjects: General Issues > Causation
General Issues > Determinism/Indeterminism
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Mechanics
Date: 2013
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/9992

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