Retrocausality at no extra cost

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Synthese, ISSN: 0039-7857, Vol: 192, Issue: 4, Page: 1139-1155

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Peter W. Evans
Springer Nature, Springer (Springer Science+Business Media B.V.)
Arts and Humanities, Social Sciences
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One obstacle faced by proposals of retrocausal influences in quantum mechanics is the perceived high conceptual cost of making such a proposal. I assemble here a metaphysical picture consistent with the possibility of retrocausality and not precluded by the known physical structure of our reality. This picture employs two relatively well-established positions—the block universe model of time and the interventionist account of causation—and requires the dismantling of our ordinary asymmetric causal intuition and our ordinary intuition about epistemic access to the past. The picture is then built upon an existing model of agent deliberation that permits us to strike a harmony between our causal intuitions and the fixity of the block universe view. I conclude that given the right mix of these reasonable metaphysical and epistemological ingredients there is no conceptual cost to such a retrocausal picture of quantum mechanics.

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