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Time and Causality


  • Russell Davidson


The understanding of causal chains and mechanisms is an essential part of any scientific activity that aims at better explanation of its subject matter, and better understanding of it. While any account of causality requires that a cause should precede its effect, accounts of causality inphysics are complicated by the fact that the role of time in current theoretical physics has evolved very substantially throughout the twentieth century. In this article, I review the status of time and causality in physics, both the classical physics of the nineteenth century, and modern physics based on relativity and quantum mechanics. I then move on to econometrics, with some mention of statistics more generally, and emphasise the role of models in making sense of causal notions, and their place in scientific explanation

Suggested Citation

  • Russell Davidson, 2013. "Time and Causality," Annals of Economics and Statistics, GENES, issue 109-110, pages 7-22.
  • Handle: RePEc:adr:anecst:y:2013:i:109-110:p:7-22

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