On time, causation and explanation in the causally symmetric Bohmian model of quantum mechanics

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Berkovitz, Joseph
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preprint description
Quantum mechanics portrays the universe as involving non-local influences that are difficult to reconcile with relativity theory. By postulating backward causation, retro-causal interpretations of quantum mechanics could circumvent these influences and accordingly reconcile quantum mechanics with relativity. The postulation of backward causation poses various challenges for the retro-causal interpretations of quantum mechanics and for the existing conceptual frameworks for analyzing counterfactual dependence, causation and causal explanation. In this chapter, we analyze the nature of time, causation and explanation in a local, deterministic retro-causal interpretation of quantum mechanics that is inspired by Bohmian mechanics. This interpretation of quantum mechanics offers a deterministic, local ‘hidden-variables’ model of the Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen experiment that poses a new challenge for Reichenbach’s principle of the common cause. In this model, the common cause – the state of particles at the emission from the source – screens off the correlation between its effects – the distant measurement outcomes – but nevertheless fails to explain the correlation between the effects.