Douglas Kutach: Influencing The Past March 26th

2016-01-29T12:08:49+00:00March 19th, 2014|Events, Philosophy of Physics|

Rotman’s Visiting Fellow, Dr. Douglas Kutach will be presenting a talk on March 26th at 1:30-3:00pm in Somerville House room 3355. For his final talk in his three part series, he will be speaking about Influencing The Past. Further information on Douglas Kutach can be found here:


In the final installment of this lecture series, I will discuss the application of my metaphysics of causation to causal asymmetry and Newcomb’s dilemma (and causal decision theory). First, I will characterize an experiment whose results capture the empirical phenomena that makes it reasonable to believe causation is always future-directed. I will explain these results while maintaining that we probably influence the past more than we influence the future. Second, I will try to describe an experiment whose results explain why one cannot fiddle with one effect of a common cause to manipulate another effect through that common cause. Problems characterizing this experiment are identified and fixed. The result is that a person in a standard Newcomb-predictor decision problem can increase the chance that there is money under the box by one-boxing.

For all upcoming talks, visit our events page!