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date: 18 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter considers the nature of the causal asymmetry, or even more generally, the asymmetry of influence. Putting aside explanations which would appeal to an asymmetry in time as explaining this asymmetry, it aims to show, using current physical theory and no ad hoc time asymmetric assumptions, why it is that future-directed influence sometimes advances one's goals but backward-directed influence does not. The chapter claims that agency is crucial to the explanation of the influence asymmetry. It provides an exhaustive account of the advancement asymmetry that is connected with fundamental physics, influence, causation, counterfactual dependence, and related notions in palatable ways.

Keywords: causal asymmetry, influence asymmetry, fundamental physics, causation, counterfactual dependence

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