2018 | 50 | 5-18
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Marian Smoluchowski’s Contributions to the Philosophy of Causation

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Marian Smoluchowski was a prominent Polish physicist whose greatest achievement was the development – independently of Albert Einstein – of the mathematical theory of Brownian motion. In his theoretical view of the problem of Brownian motion Smoluchowski employed the concept of causal relevance, which was never analysed in numerous publications devoted to his scientific achievement. In this article I am attempting to demonstrate that the concept of causal relevance which Smoluchowski employed in his works devoted to the issue of Brownian motion may be interpreted as analogous to the concept of causal relevance articulated by Max Kistler. I present a number of arguments which demonstrate that just such a concept of causal relevance was established by Smoluchowski. Since the explanation of the phenomenon of Brownian motion presented by Smoluchowski has been universally accepted, so in the same way the physicalistic concept of causal relevance has been widely propagated. In this I detect Smoluchowski’s contribution to the philosophy of causality.
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