© 2011

Probabilities, Causes and Propensities in Physics

  • Mauricio Suárez
  • The first book to systematically explore the relations between three different topics of interest in the field

  • Serves as an excellent consultation manual for any graduate course in the philosophy and foundations of physics

  • Includes an extensive and informative introduction

  • Contains cutting-edge contributions to the field


Part of the Synthese Library book series (SYLI, volume 347)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-ix
  2. Probabilities

  3. Causes

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 95-95
    2. Balazs Gyenis, Miklós Rédei
      Pages 157-171
    3. Mauricio Suárez, Iñaki San Pedro
      Pages 173-193
  4. Propensities

  5. Back Matter
    Pages 259-264

About this book


This volume defends a novel approach to the philosophy of physics: it is the first book devoted to a comparative study of probability, causality, and propensity, and their various interrelations, within the context of contemporary physics -- particularly quantum and statistical physics. The philosophical debates and distinctions are firmly grounded upon examples from actual physics, thus exemplifying a robustly empiricist approach. The essays, by both prominent scholars in the field and promising young researchers, constitute a pioneer effort in bringing out the connections between probabilistic, causal and dispositional aspects of the quantum domain. The book will appeal to specialists in philosophy and foundations of physics, philosophy of science in general, metaphysics, ontology of physics theories, and philosophy of probability.


Causal inference Causality Causation Foundations of probability Metaphysics Philosophy of physics Physics Probabilities Propensities Quantum Physics Quantum mechanics Statistical Physics

Editors and affiliations

  • Mauricio Suárez
    • 1
  1. 1.Fac. Filosofía, Depto. Lógica y Filosofía de la CienciaUniversidad Complutense de MadridMadridSpain

About the editors

Mauricio Suárez is a philosopher of science specialising in philosophy of physics. He has published widely in the philosophy of quantum mechanics, modelling and representation, and scientific epistemology in journals such as Erkenntnis, Studies in History and Philosohy of Modern Physics, Foundations of Physics, Philosophy of Science, British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, History of the Human Sciences. He is the editor of Fictions in Science: Philosophical Essays on Modelling and Idealisation (London: Routledge, 2009) and co-editor of the Proceedings of the founding conference of the European Philosophy of Science Association (EPSA), which he organised in Madrid in 2007.

Bibliographic information


From the reviews:

“This book discuss in a detailed and technical, but accessible and clarifying way, the notions that connect physics with philosophical analyses of causation, probability and propensities. … The chapters are well written and define the relevant concepts in a clear way, which allows one to follow the discussions with ease. … discuss the most recent accounts of causality, propensity and probability and add new and important insights to the discussion. … recommended to philosophers of physics and physicists interested in the foundations of their discipline.” (Esteban Céspedes, Physics and Philosophy, November, 2011)