Journal Article

‘The Most Sacred Tenet’? Causal Reasoning in Physics

Mathias Frisch

in The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science

Published on behalf of British Society for the Philosophy of Science

Volume 60, issue 3, pages 459-474
Published in print September 2009 | ISSN: 0007-0882
Published online September 2009 | e-ISSN: 1464-3537 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bjps/axp029
‘The Most Sacred Tenet’? Causal Reasoning in Physics

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According to a view widely held among philosophers of science, the notion of cause has no legitimate role to play in mature theories of physics. In this paper I investigate the role of what physicists themselves identify as causal principles in the derivation of dispersion relations. I argue that this case study constitutes a counterexample to the popular view and that causal principles can function as genuine factual constraints.

Introduction

Causality and Dispersion Relations

Norton's Skepticism

Conclusion

Journal Article.  6922 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Philosophy of Science ; Science and Mathematics

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