In 1913 Bertrand Russell argued that contrary to what most of us presume, the causal structure of the world is not fundamental, that is, that there is no temporally asymmetric relation of causal determination, production, or influence built into the fundamental fabric of reality. His argument was that causal notions had been eliminated from physics in favor of time-symmetric, fundamental laws. Causation should be pushed aside as a relic, he said, of a bygone era. Cartwright's (1983) influential critique of Russell's position convinced many that causal eliminativism, in the form that Russell defended it, is not supportable, because causal structure plays a functional role in practical reasoning that cannot be played by nomological relations. Causal pathways identify strategic routes to bringing about ends, and a law-like relationship between A and B does not entail that A-ing is a way of bringing B about. So,...
Jenann Ismael; Causal Reasoning in Physics. The Philosophical Review 1 July 2016; 125 (3): 431–435. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00318108-3517021
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