Changing the Past: The Advantages of Backward in Time Causation


  • Hernán Miguel Universidad de Buenos Aires
  • Rolando Núñez Pradenas Universidad de Concepción



Retrocausation, quantum mechanics, non-locality, explanation


Since its inception, quantum mechanics has faced a series of “mysteries” that emerge from it if we consider this scientific theory from a realistic point of view. In the early development of the theory, scientists like Albert Einstein noticed the consequences of accepting a theory like this, which allow phenomena such as non-locality. This led a part of the scientific community to believe that quantum mechanics was an incomplete theory, since there should be variables that might explain those “disturbing” phenomena such as the correlation between entangled particles.

Different interpretations of quantum mechanics have been proposed that have tried to reveal or explain the reality underlying its formalism. One of those interpretations is the “Transactional Interpretation” of quantum mechanics, advocated mainly by physicist John G. Cramer. According to this interpretation, quantum events are understood as causal interactions between delayed waves traveling forward in time and advanced waves traveling backward in time. This interpretation opens the door to accept a model of causation to the past or retrocausation.

Authors like Phil Dowe or Huw Price have shown a favorable attitude toward the model of retrocausation because it seems to be capable of effectively solve some of the most disturbing features derived from quantum mechanics. Despite the intuitive cost is rather high, retrocausation is one of the possible interpretations for the results of the correlation between entangled particles to provide us with an explanatory framework with some interesting advantages.

In this paper we explore such advantages, as the retrocausation gives us a generalizable explanatory model for all cases of this type and assumes processes and entities that are not only in the  field of speculation but allow certain possibilities of testing. Also, we will rescue the importance of not-predictive explanatory models as has been the case in other fields of natural sciences, provided that those model do not be ad hoc due to restrictions that prevent its application to any case.

Author Biographies

Hernán Miguel, Universidad de Buenos Aires

Profesor Titular, Departamento de Introducción al Pensamiento Científico, Ciclo Básico Común, Universidad de Buenos Aires.

Rolando Núñez Pradenas, Universidad de Concepción

Universidad de Concepción


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How to Cite

Miguel, H., & Núñez Pradenas, R. (2016). Changing the Past: The Advantages of Backward in Time Causation. Revista De Humanidades De Valparaíso, (7), 7–22.




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