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A Critique of Wolfgang Smith's 'Vertical Causation'

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Vertical Causation and Wholeness 25 March 2020 Philosophy of Physics, Vertical Causality, Wholeness By Wolfgang Smith Critiqued by Robert Sungenis Dr. Smith: Vertical causality made its appearance in the context of the measuring problem in quantum mechanics, where it could be identified by the fact that it acts “instantaneously.”1 Whereas the previously known modes of causation — subsequently referred to as “horizontal” — operate in time by way of a transmission through space, vertical causality operates directly, without the mediation of any such process. That “instantaneity” or lack of process came thus to be taken, in effect, as the defining characteristic of vertical causality. But whereas this criterion may serve to identify VC, it does not tell us whence it acts and what it effects. It is time, now, to broach these deeper questions: time to delve into the metaphysics of VC, in the hope that this may shed light as well upon questions of scientific significance. I begin, then, wit