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Some Remarks on Backwards Causation

BRIAN GARRETT
Revista Portuguesa de Filosofia
T. 71, Fasc. 4, Metafísica: Problemas Contemporâneos / Metaphysics: Contemporary Issues (2015), pp. 695-703
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/43744654
Page Count: 9
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Some Remarks on Backwards Causation
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Abstract

Neste texto, o autor centra-se em dois artigos clássicos -o de Max Black "Why cannot an effect precede its cause"? (1956) e o de Michael Dummett "Bringing about the Past" (1964) -, para argumentar que o "bilking argument" de Black, contra a possibilidade da causalidade invertida, falha o seu objective. Apesar de o autor concordar com Dummett, na possibilidade de um agente actuar no presente para que algo aconteça no passado, discorda da resposta dada por este último a um desafio céptico que lhe foi lançado, para mostrar a inutilidade de se alterar o passado. In this discussion I focus on two classic articles: Max Black's 'Why cannot an effect precede its cause?' (1956) and Michael Dummett's 'Bringing about the Past' (1964). I argue that Black's bilking argument against the possibility of backwards causation fails. I agree with Dummett that the idea of an agent acting in order that something should have happened in the past is not absurd, but I disagree with Dummett's response to a sceptical challenge which attempts to show that it is pointless to attempt to affect the past.

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