Let us now examine how the surgery interpretation resolves Russell’s enigma concerning the clash between the directionality of causal relations and the symmetry of physical equations.The equations of physics are indeed symmetrical, but when we compare the phrases “A causes B” versus “B causes A,” we are not talking about a single set of equations. Rather, we are comparing two world models, represented by two different sets of equations: one in which the equation for A is surgically removed; the other where the equation for B is removed. Russell would probably stop us at this point and ask: “How can you talk about two world models when in fact there is only one world model, given by all the equations of physics put together?” The answer is: yes. If you wish to include the entire universe in the model, causality disappears because interventions disappear – the manipulator and the manipulated lose their distinction.

Judea Pearl, Causality, 2009, Epilogue, p. 419

Added to diary 17 January 2018