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Causality and Realism in the EPR Experiment

Hasok Chang and Nancy Cartwright
Erkenntnis (1975-)
Vol. 38, No. 2, Special Issue on Philosophy of Science (Mar., 1993), pp. 169-190
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20012466
Page Count: 22
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Causality and Realism in the EPR Experiment
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Abstract

We argue against the common view that it is impossible to give a causal account of the distant correlations that are revealed in EPR-type experiments. We take a realistic attitude about quantum mechanics which implies a willingness to modify our familiar concepts according to its teachings. We object to the argument that the violation of factorizability in EPR rules out causal accounts, since such an argument is at best based on the desire to retain a classical description of nature that consists of processes that are continuous in space and time. We also do not think special relativity prohibits the superluminal propagation of causes in EPR, for the phenomenon of quantum measurement may very well fall outside the domain of application of special relativity. It is possible to give causal accounts of EPR as long as we are willing to take quantum mechanics seriously, and we offer two such accounts.

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