Causal Ubiquity in Quantum Physics

A Superluminal and Local-Causal Physical Ontology

by Raphael Neelamkavil (Author)
©2015 Thesis 361 Pages


A fixed highest criterial velocity (of light) in STR (special theory of relativity) is a convention for a layer of physical inquiry. QM (Quantum Mechanics) avoids action-at-a-distance using this concept, but accepts non-causality and action-at-a-distance in EPR (Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen-Paradox) entanglement experiments. Even in such allegedly «non-causal» processes, something exists processually in extension-motion, between the causal and the «non-causal». If STR theoretically allows real-valued superluminal communication between EPR entangled particles, quantum processes become fully causal. That is, the QM world is sub-luminally, luminally and superluminally local-causal throughout, and the Law of Causality is ubiquitous in the micro-world. Thus, «probabilistic causality» is a merely epistemic term.

Table Of Contents

  • Cover
  • Title
  • Copyright
  • About the author
  • About the book
  • Preface
  • This eBook can be cited
  • Contents
  • Chapter 1. Introduction: The Law of Causality and Its Methodology
  • 1.1. Some Ontological Questions in Quantum Physics
  • 1.2. Universal Causality and Constancy of Nature
  • 1.3. Purely Ontological Definition of Causality
  • 1.4. Physical-ontological Definition of Causality
  • 1.5. From Physical Causality to Universal Law of Causality
  • 1.6. Statement of the Main Theses and Attitudes
  • 1.7. Methodology of Causal Horizonal Research
  • 1.8. Our Procedure of Study of Causality in QM
  • Chapter 2. Recent Causal Realism in Quantum Physics
  • 2.1. Way of Procedure of the Literature Review
  • 2.2. Physicists and Ontologists on Orthodox and Causal QM
  • 2.3. Quantum Ontologists on Realist Quantum Causality
  • Chapter 3. The Law of Causality: Hume, Quine and Quantum Physics
  • 3.1. The “What” of Causality in QM
  • 3.2. Hume, Russell and Cartwright on Causation
  • 3.3. From Particularist- to Universalist Causation and Regularity
  • 3.4. Causality and Ontological Commitment: Beyond Quine
  • 3.5. Way of Causal Solution in QM Ontology
  • 3.6. Determinism and Causalism: General Considerations
  • 3.7. Determinism and Causalism in QM: Details
  • Chapter 4. Ontological and Probabilistic Causalisms
  • 4.1. Causalism, Non-causalism, Probabilism, Probabilistic Causalism
  • 4.2. Universal Law of Causality and Law of Regularity of Nature
  • 4.3. Nature of the Causal / Non-causal Disjunction
  • 4.4. Nature of Physical-Ontological Discourse
  • 4.5. Involvement of Consciousness in Subjectivist QM
  • Chapter 5. Laplacean Causalism in Quantum Physics
  • 5.1. Ontology and Epistemology of Laplacean Causalism
  • 5.2. Kernel of Laplacean Determinism Present in QM
  • 5.3. Paradoxes of Laplacean Determinism in QM
  • Chapter 6. Ontological Commitment in Quantum Physics
  • 6.1. Objectual-ness, Ontological Commitment, Subjectivity, Objectivity
  • 6.2. Objectual-ness and Quinean Quantification
  • 6.3. Ontological Commitment vs. the Quantum Concept
  • Chapter 7. Causality in Some Quantum Experiments
  • 7.1. Starting Point of Causal Arguments in QM
  • 7.2. Black Body Radiation and Meaning of ‘Quantum’
  • 7.3. Wave-Particle Complementarity and Causality
  • 7.4. Elements of Causation in QM Probabilism
  • 7.5. Traditional Double Slit Experiment vs. Causality
  • Chapter 8. Interpretations of Important Results in Quantum Physics
  • 8.1. Hidden Variables Interpretation
  • 8.2. Propensities- and Potentialities Interpretation
  • 8.3. Copenhagen Complementarity Interpretation
  • Chapter 9. Causality in the Epr Paradox: Part 1. The Physics
  • 9.1. Non-causality, Causality, Subjectivity, Objectual-ness in EPR
  • 9.2. Wave-, Particle- and Wavicle Natures
  • 9.3. Essence of the EPR Entanglement Experiment
  • 9.4. Causal Interpretation of the EPR Experiment in General
  • 9.5. Causal Solution of the EPR Paradox: Detailed Discussion
  • 9.6. “Upward” and “Downward” Causality
  • Chapter 10. Causality in the Epr Paradox: Part 2. The Physical Ontology
  • 10.1. Causal Realist Ontology in the Entanglement Experiment
  • 10.2. Ontological Commitment and Causality in the EPR Paradox
  • 10.3. Non-locality and Causality in the EPR Paradox
  • 10.4. Causal Pervasiveness in QM
  • Chapter 11. Causality in a New Double Slit Experiment and in Epr
  • 11.1. A Recent Double Slit Experiment and the EPR Paradox
  • 11.2. Classical Simultaneity in QM as Unacceptable
  • 11.3. Meaning of Causality in the Uncertainty Principle
  • 11.4. Causality vs. Phenomena-Noumena Continuity
  • 11.5. Causal Existence vs. Instrumentalism over Mathematical Results
  • 11.6. A Non-mechanistic, Non-probabilistic Causal Law
  • Chapter 12. Causality in the Special Theory of Relativity
  • 12.1. Source-Independence and Highest Velocity
  • 12.2. QM-STR Marriage and the Causal Paradox
  • 12.3. Superluminality and Causality via STR Transformations
  • 12.4. Consequences of Local-Causal STR and EPR
  • 12.5. Luminally and Superluminally Causal Velocities
  • Chapter 13. Micro-Physical and Cosmic Causal Continuity
  • 13.1. Classical and Reformed Views of Causal Continuity
  • 13.2. Causal Wavicles vs. Mathematical Description
  • 13.3. Falkenburg on Physics and Mathematics of Wavicles
  • 13.4. Physical Wavicle vs. Mathematical Wave / Particle
  • 13.5. Causal Realism of Quantons
  • 13.6. Micro-causal Solution to the Many Worlds Interpretation
  • 13.7. Causal-Realistic Sinusoidal Wavicle Path
  • Chapter 14. Conclusion: Causal Ubiquity in the Micro-World
  • 14.1. Causal Extent in Ultra-quantal Causal Wavicle Realism
  • 14.2. Causal Continuity and Ubiquity in QM Reality: A Summary
  • 14.3. Important Results and Their Prospects
  • Bibliography
  • Index

← 12 | 13 → Chapter 1. Introduction: The Law of Causality and Its Methodology

1.1. Some Ontological Questions in Quantum Physics

The present work is a new way of questioning quantum physical (QM)1 ontology of causality and attempting to establish the Law of Causality2 as central for all sciences including philosophy. If Extension and Motion, after Matter-Energy, are the primary, purely ontological and categorial qualities of all that exist, Space and Time are the epistemologically measuremental explication respectively of Extension and Motion. This is the categorial plank from which I begin my arguments. Space and Time belong epistemologically to the categories of all existence. I take Matter-Energy, Extension-Motion and Causality to be the classificational physical ontological categories of science, where the physical world is real. Concepts like mass are more specific and subsequent to Matter-Energy.

By ‘real’ I mean, negatively, all that connote whatever is not absolute nullity or vacuum. This serves to include not only what is materially physical but also all that is “physical” in any other manner. By ‘reality’ is meant, negatively, all that denote whatever is not absolute nullity. Thus, in the expressions in ordinary parlance, ‘This is real’ and ‘This is the reality’ one does not differentiate between them. In philosophizing, it is better to differentiate, since the first, an adjective, is connotative of a state of affairs, whereas the second, a noun, tends to denote a matter of fact.

← 13 | 14 → A “process” includes in one such instance all the four of (1) one real object undergoing a difference within, (2) the one, at least by partial instrumentality, producing a difference in another or others that are parts of the process, and (3) both the parts being different from their earlier states and still being part of a finitely mutually physically related whole, not entirely different from the earlier states, and (4) the whole and its parts having simultaneous similar relationships with other such wholes. The measure, duration, or extension of the difference brought about need not be definite in such a general concept.

To begin with the theme of the work in the very Introduction, I place some questions for inquiry. First of all, what can an “appearance” be, if not based on a state of affairs in which some real and causally connected3 processes exist4 in extension and motion, cognized at least partially as real processes in themselves and partially as processes toward other processes, and measured spatiotemporally? The present work deals with Causality as a law and causality as obtained in QM.

Causality is a relation that produces a difference in things. Thus, it includes any relation in a matter of fact in which the one real antecedent (cause) has a differentiating impact (giving rise to some change in an effect process by the impact of transfer of elements onto it) on the consequent (effect) – a relation that qualifies the effect to be different from what it would otherwise have been if not ← 14 | 15 → under the said relation with the cause. One often forgets (1) that due to the very act of the cause upon the effect, a subsequent act causes the cause to be different from what it has been before the act, after it has caused the difference called the first effect proper, and (2) that this second process is a different causal process and must always be differentiated from the first – not absolutely but relative to the extension-motion region assignable.

This portion of difference in the cause is a second real state of relation, but not one that might be due to any simultaneous impact by the effect as such upon the cause as such of the first act. Thus, in the alteration in the cause of the first act, the so-called function of an alleged absolute mutual symmetry between the cause and effect of the first act is improperly taken to be due to absolute mutual symmetry. Instead, the difference in the cause within the first act of causation is that portion of difference in the cause, which makes it different within at least portions of itself due solely to a second causal act of enabling a difference in the cause of the first act.

Secondly, what else can any process be, if it is not a process of causation throughout its parts, none of which can exist without the same sort of (causal) connections within and without its extension-motion? Thirdly, what else can causation be, if not expressed as a “measurementally” spatiotemporal relation, which, in its processual extension-motion, is a relation from the antecedent but yet mutually related processes towards the formation of the consequent in every minute or near-infinitesimal part of the former and latter aspects of the process? Here ‘spacetime’ is a physically epistemological concept of measurement or quantity with its qualitative aspects to be conceived as ways of being (universals). Everything other than ways of being is not qualitative but quantitative. To that extent, spacetime is also a mathematical concept. Space and Time are traditionally taken in physical science to be the categories in place of Extension and Motion. At the very start of the present work I suggest that space and time are the measures of extension and motion. Space and time are the (mathematically and physically measuremental) epistemological categories, whereas Extension and Motion are the real physical-ontological categories thereof. To the mathematical and physical concept of spacetime is extension-motion the physical categorial counterpart. This sort of interpretation of spacetime and its mathematical aspect of measurement may inspire revamping of the categories of physics into Matter-Energy, Extension-Motion, Causality, and also the epistemologically physical and mathematical category of Space-Time.

Thirdly, what can QM and in general science be, if some parts of their theory with their interpretations obstruct recognition of causal-processual existence of entities in extension-motion, limit the province of the Universal Law of ← 15 | 16 → Causation, and do not describe the chances of the process being causal? All is in the name of the “statistical probability” or “probabilistic causality” that describes just the chances of entities to be tracked down during a process. Do they contain any reasonable world view or the foundational “truth dimension” that makes ever better world views possible?

Fourthly, suppose one speaks of physical reality as not part of consciousness or not created haphazardly and non-physically by consciousness. Can one then remain satisfied saying ‘Non-causality is part of reality’, without knowing that the “reality” here is mixed up paradoxically with some epistemic (‘epistemic’ denoting ‘what happens in the mind in the process of knowing and such feeling’) subjectivity which (1) makes decision between causation and non-causation impossible and (2) elevates certain lack of access to causal history from within itself to the status of a reality totally instantiated within mind, with nothing physically of the order of extension-motion and nothing causally relational to do with realities other than itself?

Does such epistemically subjective “probabilistic causality” (probably causal in the nature of knowing, and not in the ontological nature) mean anything to the reality of “freedom”, if freedom is essentially self-determination? Self-determination is self-causation considered in isolation from routes of past causal inheritance from beyond itself. Does probabilistic causality which allegedly includes some element of non-causality save self-determination or self-causation? Can self-causation in any way isolate itself from causation in general? Can such isolated self-causation save “freedom” for religious, anthropological, ethical and legal consumption, and if yes, how without ontological clarification about its nature (qualifications), structure and process? The current work treats only of the questions of the Law of Causality and probabilistic causality in QM. The remaining parts of the questions, related to freedom, are equally relevant but are postponed to future work on my part.

1.2. Universal Causality and Constancy of Nature

The connection between the concepts of causality and constancy of Nature is worth noting, since absence of causality means absence of constancy. Often in the physical sciences the empirical principle or empirically founded assumption of constancy of (processes of) Nature has been taken to be the axiomatic basis for the extent of validity of the Law of Causality: “the principle of causality and the law of constancy of energy are very closely related and … the latter was in the last century regarded as the basis of the former.”5 The causality meant ← 16 | 17 → here may be the classical one. The present-day scientific-ontological concept of causality is not akin to it in its connection to the concept of constancy of Nature, due to the element of causal doubts in QM. With relevant adaptations proper to the most general use of the physical-ontological concept of causation to be developed here – as one of the physical-ontological categories of science – the Law of Causality is ontologically more categorial than that of constancy of Nature, since all-pervasiveness of Causality alone can vouchsafe for constancy. This we will discuss in what follows and in the discussions of causality in microphysics.

To state generally, the Law of Causality is ontologically prior to and epistemologically simultaneous with the Law of Constancy. That is, (1) due to the ontologically causal nature of processes exemplified by the Law of Causality, due to causality in all physical processes, there is ontological constancy too, and not vice versa; and (2) due to the epistemological fact of co-extensiveness of the two Laws, they are epistemologically on par.

For the foundations of physics we assume ontologically (1) that there are physical processes and their totality and call it Nature, and (2) that there can be either total constancy or total inconstancy or a mix of both in Nature, all of which remain to be rationally justified in QM. As a result – as will be discussed – we have to conclude in the end that the so-called “inconstancy in Nature” due to alleged non-causalities in QM can never be an absolute absence of constancy in some parts of Nature, but only the epistemic absence of discovery or mention of all the causes proper to any particular (set of) effect(s) – this absence being based on human limitations and the limitations of any specific reality (process) to actually render itself open at any given extension-motion region for total human cognition.

We also note that the empirical axiom of constancy of Nature is an epistemologically generalized ontological version of the Law of Causality, without which (i.e., Causality) Nature does not exist in process and without the conclusion of which, in turn, physics or any science is impossible. Constancy of Nature is ontological in that it specifies the causal nature of Nature as the reason and concludes to constancy from causality which is ontological. Again, this is ontological because, as we say that without causation there is no natural process, so also without the existence of objects in Causality, and without the most general structures of this so-called constancy in Causality, there is no Nature, ← 17 | 18 → of which Causality is an important categorial way of being of Nature in process. And constancy is the epistemologically concluded generality of Nature because the total fact of Causality in nature is ontologically more primary, the conclusion of constancy is epistemologically drawn, and it is Causality and not constancy which primarily is ontologically verified. I attempt to bear out such a concept of Causality for QM.

1.3. Purely Ontological Definition of Causality

The concept of causality is such that it is that of a temporal relation between an antecedent and a consequent. It consists not merely of an antecedent-and-consequent relation but also, additionally, of the occurrence or existence of the former, occurrence of the consequent and the inevitability of occurrence of the former for the occurrence of the consequent. This inevitability is of the antecedent with respect to the consequent, but not vice versa. If we can rightly presuppose Matter-Energy and Extension-Motion as categories conceptually superior (though processually simultaneous) to the category of Causality, and Spacetime only as the epistemological (measuremental) category related to Extension-Motion, we may show causality as a relationship that involves an occurrence of being-or-becoming-related dependence of a consequent being upon an antecedent, and not between non-becomings or non-beings. Entities like ideas, thoughts, words etc., as causal agents, have to be related and reduced to the processes involved thereat.

Thus, causality is generally the motive (motion-level, “temporal” in measurement) relation between two extended processes in which the one antecedent has been inevitable for the existence or occurrence of an activity in the consequent. This definition is inclusive even of the possibility of creation as originary (having to do with absolute origination from nothing)6 causation. Here we have not removed extensive (extension-level, “spatial” in measurement) relations ← 18 | 19 → from the definition, nor have we definitely concluded whether cause proper and effect proper in their ultimate exactness can ever be absolutely simultaneous. We have included the motive nature (temporality) of physical occurrences because of the irreducibly before-and-after nature of causal relations. In the sense of its extensive and motive nature the causal relation is an occurrence. That is, causality is an extensive-motive relation in a matter-energy occurrence implying the inevitability of extended existence and motive activity of the antecedent to the consequent.

If not extended existence, there is no other possible form of existence at all – any purely “intensive” or “intentional” existence has its ontologically existential (occurrence-type) basis on extension. Therefore anything supposedly non-causal or acausal must be something extended (not pure vacuum), and thus be causal in its ontological foundations. But if there are non-causal occurrences, let us grant them for the time as mere occurrences, non-specifically of whether these are causal or not.

Thus, the most general and minimum ontological concept of an occurrence (as a process / entity) is as that which is capable of making a causal or non-causal impact or influence, however minute, in something else. Here ‘impact’, ‘influence’ and ‘occurrence’ mean arbitrarily ‘what happens on the object or process’, whether by reason of a cause (impact, influence, etc.) as causalists hold, or, by no cause at all as non-causalists and acausalists would say. ‘Occurrence’ as a term makes both the causal and the non-causal conceptually possible. Hence ‘influence’, ‘impact’ and ‘occurrence’ are intended here not to mean any cause directly, but to generally imply ‘causally or allegedly non-causally happening change of state’ in case non-causality and acausality are the case in at least some occurrences in Nature. This allowance is based on the fact that some interpretations of QM assume non-causal occurrences taking place at some provinces of the QM world.

I mention some authorities for the causalist, non-causalist and acausalist interpretations of QM. The discrepancies between them make us in the present work to argue in favour of causal all-pervasiveness. Von Neumann, e.g., at least partially, held the non-causal view as feasible.7 The Schrödinger equations, he ← 19 | 20 → says, are causal since otherwise they would not have been compatible with the relativistic equations; but he says, many have later thought that the Schrödinger equations are non-causal.8 The purely non-causal theory of QM and its dangers are discussed by G. t’Hooft.9 W. Michael Dickson may be referred to for a convinced attempt to render a non-causal solution to the entanglement10 scenario.11

For the causal interpretation of QM without full commitment to physical-ontological causality everywhere in the micro-world and at the same time clearly attempting to save locality, David Bohm is possibly one among the more famous physicists. He is not very famous among some physicists due to his causalist standpoint.12 One important recent acausalist tendency has evidenced itself in de Muynck, who treats QM in an empiricist manner. This results in anti-causalism and at times non-commitment to causalism or anti-causalism in de Muynck.13 Mostly the acausal interpretation of QM is prevalent in amateur and over-enthusiastically “freedom”-oriented, postmodernist and non-foundationalist circles of philosophy of science. There have also been arguments in favour of pragmatism in the QM attempts to retain causality.14

Causality as an extensive-motive relation in matter-energy involves the inevitability of the antecedent to the consequent. This need not necessarily incur circularity or constant regress in the definition that uses the terms ‘impact’, ‘influence’ and ‘occurrence’, if these terms are clearly spelt out as not directly ← 20 | 21 → implying cause alone but also any occurrence that is deemed to be non-causal. Only when these terms are further qualified will their nexus mean causality.

For our purpose of including causality, non-causality and acausality as possible cases in the general concept of becoming-level dependence-relation, (1) ‘impact’, ‘influence’ and ‘occurrence’ (which are terms more general than cause) mean either causal or even the so-called non-causal state-difference (or absence of difference) of a particle or wave or any other process as a result of the becoming-level relation the consequent has to the antecedent, and (2) the existentially becoming-level inevitability-aspect of the relation specifically defined at the level of motion ends up implying nothing other than causality, where the inevitability as such is not causality without the restrictions served by extensive-motive relation. These two aspects make the definition non-circular. Thus we do not use the concept of cause to define cause.

The terms ‘causation’, ‘cause’ and ‘effect’ differ from each other and from the relation called causality. Causation is the act of an object’s or a process’s working an impact or influence or occurrence in anything. The cause is that part proper of a process that makes a becoming-level inevitable impact or occurrence in another which is or has the impact; and an effect is the impact proper as made processually by the cause proper. Temporarily, for the purpose of subsuming also the possibility of non-causality, our concept of ‘impact’ or ‘influence’ or ‘occurrence’ is kept open not to mean merely things causal, but to include any occurrence that might not be causal and still “takes place”, by reason of any existing relation named “non-causality” that does not accept a certain type of influence (or lack of influence) as causal. Since causality is primarily an ontological and additionally a physical category of science, we have no absolutely non-circular way of defining the concept where the terms within the definition imply nothing like cause.

If causality is a motive (at motion-level, and temporally measurable) relation, it is that motively sufficiently well-defined (however minute the difference, not simultaneous) relationship between an antecedent and a consequent process, in which (1) some proper portion of elements of the first is transferred to the second with further motive modification of the portions, and (2) at least some proper portions of the process in any other motive form of relationship obtaining between the two is transferred thereafter by reason of the process spoken of in (1), i.e., by physically effective continuity of causality proper. This is a key argument in the present work. It facilitates continuity in causality without an irrational “Dedekind cut” in the dimensional arrow of temporal motion.

In a causal relation any element transferred from the antecedent to the consequent process will naturally be transferred with modification, since motion is ← 21 | 22 → involved in the transfer too, where time is the measure of motion / change. The relationship of being mother to somebody, of being the cause of photosynthesis, of kicking a ball, etc. are such that the transfer of elements proper occurs causally. On the other hand, a relation like that of a cause merely having (allegedly “meeting”, “possessing”, or “finding” in a theory) a corresponding element or quality in the effect is not a causal relation. They involve no transfer of elements from the prior to the consequent; instead, it has only a correlation assigned by a thinking mind.

A cause and its effect are motively (termed “temporally” in measurement) not symmetrical. This is challenged, but rarely, only from the point of view of sciences that deal merely with causality in reality-in-particular (not with the Universal Law of Causality that pertains to Reality-in-total), which do not take theoretical access to the whole possible causal horizon of any individual process. Causation can be symmetrical only if exactly mutual causal implications over time symmetry, and presupposedly without spatial symmetry (!), are possible, as in the following two statements: (1) A caused B, (2) B caused A. Here the exclusion of spatial symmetry shows exclusion of the extension-aspect of the processes. This is proof enough of the imaginary nature of temporal symmetry in causation. That is, if an absolutely mutual causal entailment of cause proper and effect proper is possible, there have to be extensive and motive symmetries together in causation.


ISBN (Hardcover)
Publication date
2014 (October)
Quantenphysik EPR Paradox Überlichtgeschwindigkeit
Frankfurt am Main, Berlin, Bern, Bruxelles, New York, Oxford, Wien, 2014. 361 pp.

Biographical notes

Raphael Neelamkavil (Author)

Raphael Neelamkavil is a philosopher of physics. He has published articles in philosophy of physics, cosmology, metaphysics etc., and a book: Physics without Metaphysics? Categories of Second Generation Scientific Ontology.


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