Metaphysics of Causation and Physics of General Relativity

  • Vincent Lam University of Queensland, Australia.
Keywords: causation, general relativity, energy conservation principle


This paper aims to discuss two realist conceptions about causation in the light of the general theory of relativity (GTR). I first consider the conserved quantity of causation, which explicitly relies on the energy conservation principle. Such principle is however problematic within GTR, mainly because of the dynamical nature of the spacetime structure itself. I then turn to the causal theory of properties, according to which (fundamental physical) properties are such that insofar as they are certain qualities, they are powers to produce certain effects. In order to be compatible with GTR, such theory has to assume non-trivial global conditions on the spacetime structure; such assumptions seem to deprive the „singularist‟ non-Humean feature of this theory of causation. The question of the possible causal nature of spacetime (metrical) properties is addressed in the conclusion.

How to Cite
Lam, V. (2018). Metaphysics of Causation and Physics of General Relativity. HUMANA.MENTE Journal of Philosophical Studies, 4(13), 61-80. Retrieved from