The Principle of the Common Cause

The Principle of the Common Cause

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The common cause principle says that every correlation is either due to a direct causal effect linking the correlated entities or is brought about by a third factor, a so-called common cause. The principle is of central importance in the philosophy of science, especially in causal explanation, causal modeling and in the foundations of quantum physics. Written for philosophers of science, physicists and statisticians, this book contributes to the debate over the validity of the common cause principle, by proving results that bring to the surface the nature of explanation by common causes. It provides a technical and mathematically rigorous examination of the notion of common cause, providing an analysis not only in terms of classical probability measure spaces, which is typical in the available literature, but in quantum probability theory as well. The authors provide numerous open problems to further the debate and encourage future research in this more

Product details

  • Electronic book text
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 10 b/w illus. 2 tables 20 exercises
  • 1139094343
  • 9781139094344

Review quote

'I would encourage many readers to approach this book. It is clear and, as far as possible, concise. It doesn't neglect any important aspect of the state-of-the-art concerning the Principle. I would recommend this reading to any physicist and particularly to those interested in complex systems and statistical physics. ... I think the book might also interest scholars in the field of philosophy of science. It should also be considered for acquisition by academic libraries, since it deals with a relatively new subject which could be applied in different fields. This book might also constitute a good discussion basis for interesting seminars for future PhDs and would represent a good text book for post-graduate students.' Marco Casazza, Contemporary Physicsshow more

Table of contents

Preface; 1. Introduction and overview; 2. The common cause principle; 3. Common cause extendability of probability spaces; 4. Causally closed probability theories; 5. Common common causes; 6. Common cause extendability of non-classical probability spaces; 7. Reichenbachian common cause systems; 8. Causal closedness of quantum field theory; 9. Reichenbach's common cause principle and EPR correlations; 10. Where do we stand?; Appendix; more

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