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Theoria. Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia

Volume 1, Issue 2, 1985

José M. Sanchez-Ron
Pages 439-459

Physics and Philosophy
Action at a Distance in 20th Century Physics

In this paper I review the different opinions held by scientists and philosophers as regards the status of the action-at-a-distance concept within relativistic physics. It is shown that in spite of the fact that the prevailing opinion has been that special relativity precludes actions at a distance, some important physicists have continued employing that concept throughout the present century. The key to understand that “anomalous” behaviour lies, in fact, in the relationships existent between quantum and classical physics (“inverse” principle of correspondence).