Single Idea 8401

[catalogued under 26. Natural Theory / C. Causation / 5. Direction of causation]

Full Idea

It is sometimes pointed out that (perhaps with a few minor exceptions) the fundamental physical laws are completely time-symmetric. If so, then if one is inclined to found causation on fundamental physical law, it isn't evident how directionality gets in.

Gist of Idea

Physical laws are largely time-symmetric, so they make a poor basis for directional causation


Hartry Field (Causation in a Physical World [2003], 1)

Book Reference

'The Oxford Handbook of Metaphysics', ed/tr. Loux,M /Zimmerman,D [OUP 2005], p.436

A Reaction

All my instincts tell me that causation is more fundamental than laws, and that directionality is there at the start. That, though, raises the nice question of how, if causation explains laws, the direction eventually gets left OUT!