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

Volume 19, Issue 3, Septiembre 2004

Mauricio Suárez
Pages 271-300

Causal processes and propensities in quantum mechanics

In an influential article published in 1982, Bas Van Fraassen developed an argument against causal realism on the basis of an analysis of the Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen correlations of quantum mechanics. Several philosophers of science and experts in causal inference -including some causal realists like Wesley Salmon- have accepted Van Fraassen’s argument, interpreting it as a proof that the quantum correlations cannot be given any causal model. In this paper I argue that Van Fraassen’s article can also be interpreted as a good guide to the different causal models available for the EPR correlations, and their relative virtues. These models in turn give us insight into some of the unusual features that quantum propensicies might have.