Einstein's criticism of quantum mechanics and humean philosophy

Kunihisa Morita

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


It is well known that one of the reasons Einstein criticized quantum mechanics is that it abandons strict causality. However, it is also common knowledge that Einstein was strongly influenced by Hume, who rejected the necessity of a causal connection. Thus Einstein's stance seems internally incongruent. This apparent incoherence is resolved if (1) Einstein changed his mind after constructing the relativity theory or (2) Einstein agreed with Hume concerning space and time, but disagreed concerning causality. In this paper, I argue that both (I) and (2) are false. Nevertheless, I argue that Einstein's attitude is not inconsistent by showing that Hume did not reject the use of causality in science (rather, he considered it essential for science), and that, while Einstein admitted the limits of causality as a concept, he nevertheless believed that physics could not function without it.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-74
Number of pages10
JournalHistoria Scientiarum
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • History and Philosophy of Science


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