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Causality and Chance in Relativistic Quantum Field Theories

Healey, Richard A. (2013) Causality and Chance in Relativistic Quantum Field Theories. [Preprint]

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Abstract

Bell appealed to the theory of relativity in formulating his principle of local causality. But he maintained that quantum field theories do not conform to that principle, even when their field equations are relativistically covariant and
their observable algebras satisfy a relativistically motivated microcausality condition. A pragmatist view of quantum theory and an interventionist approach to causation prompt the reevaluation of local causality and microcausality. Local causality cannot be understood as a reasonable requirement on relativistic quantum field theories: it is unmotivated even if applicable to them. But microcausality emerges as a sufficient condition for the consistent application of a relativistic quantum field theory.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Healey, Richard A.rhealey@email.arizona.edu
Additional Information: Forthcoming in Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics
Keywords: Local causality Microcausality Bell correlations Relativistic quantum field theories Pragmatist interpretation Causal intervention
Subjects: General Issues > Causation
Specific Sciences > Physics
Specific Sciences > Probability/Statistics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Field Theory
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Mechanics
Depositing User: Richard Andrew Healey
Date Deposited: 14 May 2014 22:06
Last Modified: 14 May 2014 22:06
Item ID: 10680
Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.shpsb.2014.03.002i
Subjects: General Issues > Causation
Specific Sciences > Physics
Specific Sciences > Probability/Statistics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Field Theory
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Mechanics
Date: 11 November 2013
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/10680

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