Interventions and Causality in Quantum Mechanics

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Erkenntnis, ISSN: 0165-0106, Vol: 78, Issue: S2, Page: 199-213

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Suárez, Mauricio
Springer Nature
Arts and Humanities; Mathematics
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I argue that the Causal Markov Condition (CMC) is in principle applicable to the Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen (EPR) correlations. This is in line with my defence in the past of the applicability of the Principle of Common Cause to quantum mechanics. I first review a contrary claim by Dan Hausman and Jim Woodward, who endeavour to preserve the CMC against a possible counterexample by asserting that the conditions for the application of the CMC are not met in the EPR experiment. In their view the CMC is inapplicable to the EPR correlations-i.e. it neither obtains nor fails. The view is grounded upon the non-separability of the quantum state, and the consequent unavailability of interventions. I urge that whether interventions are available in EPR-and why-is a complex and contextual question that does not have a unique or uniform answer. Instead, I argue that different combinations of causal hypotheses under test and interpretations of quantum mechanics yield different answers to the question. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.