Questions tagged [quantum-interpretations]

This tag is for questions relating to what, if anything, the quantum mechanical formalism and experimental results say about the way the world works.

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7answers
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How does Quantum Mechanics affect the modern account of free will and determinism?

In the edition of Feb/Mar 2016 of the Philosophy Now Magazine says: Under Feel Free to Differ it says: [...] Determinism itself comes in different flavours. Hard determinism of the most absolute ...
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Has quantum mechanics destroyed the fundaments of logical reasoning?

In quantum mechanics it is thought to be possible that something could be at two places at the same time. But if that is really the case then perhaps law of non-contradiction is no longer valid. So ...
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"God doesn't play with dice": does QM's randomness really contradict religion?

Everyone knows Einstein's popular phrase on Quantum Mechanics - "God doesn't play with dice", implying that the randomness theory that the universe "popped" into existence randomly doesn't align with ...
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A Neo-Kantian View on Causality?

Quantum non-determinism seems incompatible with Kant’s defense of causality in his Second Analogy. Stephen R. Palmquist however provides an interesting and appealing case against this supposition, ...
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Can the observer be the observed?

As a supplement to this question as to whether particles can be observers, supposing that the answer is yes. One could suppose a setup where particle A is observing particle B, but what to stop us ...
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How can we take the ontologies of our best physical theories seriously?

It seems to me that numerous features of our best physical theories thus far (most notably in my humble and near-meaningless opinion: the whole notion of renormalization in quantum field theory) ...
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Is the delayed choice quantum eraser a refutation of principle of causality? How does contemporary philosophy make sense of it?

Causality, as per Wiki Is the relation between an event (the cause) and a second event (the effect), where the first event is understood to be responsible for the second. For this relationship ...
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2answers
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Assuming many-worlds interpretation of QM, do ethical obligations cross worlds' boundaries?

Bear with me here. Let's assume, for the purpose of this discussion, many worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics. This interpretation stipulates something like multiple parallel realities that ...
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1answer
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Is the many worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics philosophically untenable?

I saw this: http://aeon.co/essays/is-the-many-worlds-hypothesis-just-a-fantasy In this article the author raises a number of intriguing philosophical challenges against the so-called "many worlds" ...
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Plato meets Quantum Mechanics

What would Plato have said about the Quantum Mechanics theory development? I mean, we have had to give the reason a second place in order to give to the observations the main motor of the theory and I ...
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Are QM interpretations physics or philosophy?

Are QM interpretations physics or philosophy? I asked a question on physics.stackexchange, and was told they were philosophy. Does anyone disagree?
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Why do realists not define measurement?

I have recently read that different interpretation of QM define measurement differently, but that some realists (examples?) refuse to define measurement at all..why is this? I'm taking a class on the ...
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Quantum mechanics and the principle of bivalence

Does quantum mechanics, due to the phenomenon of superposition (Schrodinger's cat is both dead and alive), give reasons to alter the laws of logic, specifically the principle of bivalance (something ...
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Quantum immortality

Quantum immortality says that a person will never die. As we know the person bound to die in world 'A' (say) may survive on other worlds 'B', 'C',.... as there are always two possibilities in the ...
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What is unique about the quantum state of superposition?

In the state of quantum superposition, as most famously illustrated by Schrodinger's Cat, we have a well-defined set of probabilistic outcomes that is not determined until observed. The cat is then ...
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What is the difference between determinism and superdeterminism?

I know I need to add some body to the question, so I'll give you some links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Determinism and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superdeterminism. I have seen some comments that ...
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Many-worlds Interpretation defeats the Doomsday argument?

By making the a priori assumption that we are equally likely to be anywhere along the chronological list of humans, the Doomsday argument implies that our position n is correlated with the future ...
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Are the Bohmian and Copenhagen interpretations of QM isomorphic?

I'm writing an essay comparing Bohmian Mechanics to the standard Copenhagen interpretation and came across the notion that Bohmian mechanics implies a fundamental epistemic uncertainty to how we can ...
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Many-worlds interpretation of QM and modal realism

Does the difficulty of making sense of quantum mechanical phenomena, (i.e. arriving at a nice philosophical interpretation of QM) taken together with Everett's many-worlds interpretation, constitute ...
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Good resources for philosophers to learn more about quantum mechanics?

It is easy to find high-level descriptions of the implications of quantum mechanics, but they always seem a bit handwavy to me, or at least it is hard to know whether those interpretations are really ...
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The exaggeration of the role of observer in quantum mechanics

In the famous double slit experiment, it's often said that the presence of an observer causes the electrons to behave as particles. "The need for the "observer" to be conscious has been rejected by ...
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Testing the Dream Hypothesis

Is there in existence any set of physical parameters which can be measured, which would enable one to determine whether or not reality by itself is a dream?
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brains observing the detectors in double slit experiments

Something that has puzzled me in popular descriptions of the double slit experiment is that they usually describe the observation of the detectors as though it is the end of the story for the elements ...
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Can many worlds interpretation have universes with different laws?

The Many Worlds Interpretation of quantum mechanics is classified by Max Tegmark as a level-3 multiverse hypothesis. This means that in the universes that it will predict, there could be different ...
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Does running a program about quantum mechanics on a quantum computer count as an experiment or a simulation?

When it comes to the simulation vs. experiment debate, some proponents of simulations argue they have equal epistemic value because computer simulations are physical processes happening inside a ...
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Quine's naturalism and the interpretations of Quantum Mechanics

I am wondering what does Quine's naturalism amount to. Specifically, Quine believes that our best scientific theories tell us what exist. This means that science determines our ontology. In the case ...
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Why does Humean supervenience fail in quantum mechanics?

I am not sure I understand the idea properly. Moreover, why are philosophers so interested in quantum mechanics? What philosophical implications could quantum mechanics have?
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What kind of philosophy of the foundations of physics can there be?

I'm currently trying to read into topos foundations for theories of physics and I wonder if we are really able to give a philosophical foundation for what a possible future theory of physics should ...
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151 views

Emergent Complexity In Probability Distributions

I originally posted this in Physics SE but was told it's more appropriate here... In quantum mechanics we describe waves of probability or probability distributions. Does this have to or should it be ...
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How is a superposition with two different weights for the states accounted for in the many worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics?

In the many world interpretation of quantum mechanics, after a superposition of states has interacted with some outside agent the two states smoothly continue to exist in two different worlds (so no ...
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Does the uncertainty principle resolve Zeno’s arrow paradox?

Zeno’s arrow paradox says that motion is impossible. Does quantum mechanics say that the underlying assumption is wrong? Assumption: in any given moment, an arrow in flight is motionless. Then it ...
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Computer vs brain in many-worlds interpretation of QM

Assume that the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics is true. A classical computer that is modeled on the Turing machine is designed to perform exactly the same computation in each of the ...
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4answers
225 views

What is the case for free will?

By understanding the laws of nature, I've come to the conclusion that everything evolves according to the laws of physics, and that includes the formation of conscious and unconscious thoughts in the ...
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2answers
189 views

What is the most commonsense interpretation of QM for the layman?

What is the least inflationary or most everyday common sense interpretation of QM? Given that it's philosophy and not physics, the questions seems a good one. Cited here, there are three alternative ...
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1answer
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Is quantum indeterminacy inextricable from observation?

I understand uncertainty from a combinatorial and game theoretic perspective, as functions of incomplete or imperfect information, or intractability which is a type of inaccessible information in that ...
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1answer
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Is positing a multiverse to replace randomness a desperate attempt to hide agency?

This question applies to any type of multiverse or many worlds that translates or actualizes each of a set of potentials into a separate universe. These potentials may come from quantum randomness or ...
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1answer
150 views

How can theory violate counterfactual definiteness and not violate local realism?

In wikipedia article one can read that: In current theory, post-1972, various interpretations (i.e. theories) of quantum mechanics violate different aspects of Local Realism. But some ...
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Probability calculus and Quantum Mechanics [closed]

I am not an expert and probably this question highlights this. Anyway, is the probability calculus used in Quantum Mechanics? Does the concept of probability adopted in Quantum Mechanics satisfy the ...
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1answer
202 views

Questions about personal identity and materialism with QM and spacetime

Let's assume for a moment that the materialistic view of the universe is correct. There exists a universe that contains energy in various states spread out in the dimensions of space and time that is ...
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1answer
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Many-worlds defeats Doomsday argument (improved version)?

This is a more carefully argued version of my previous post Many-worlds Interpretation defeats the Doomsday argument? Standard Doomsday Argument Let N be the total number of humans who will ever ...
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1answer
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Is 'interpretation' in quantum mechanics the same as 'interpretation' in probability? [closed]

I heard all 'interpretations' of quantum mechanics give exactly the same answer to every measurement so they are all equally correct. Is that the same 'interpretations' as in probability? Context: ...
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How narrow is the Measurement Problem in QM? [closed]

I realize that the "Measurement Problem" is an issue unique to the highly technical field of quantum mechanics. But is it ever discussed in philosophy in relation to more general issues of ...
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2answers
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Do really all mental states exist in some universe according to Many-Minds Interpretation?

According to the Many Minds interpretation of quantum mechanics (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Many-minds_interpretation), the distinction between worlds in the Many Worlds interpretation should be ...
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How much can investigating three nested systems help interpreting probabilistic theories?

Many attempts to interpret quantum mechanics do so by looking at three nested systems. The largest system is essentially the universe or the environment. The smallest system is the one being observed ...
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1answer
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Why did Hilary Putnam change of opinion towards Quantum Logic?

Hilary Putnam is known for having proposed a radical change in our thinking about the physical universe: He proposed that the universe was fundamentally based on Quantum Logic, and not in Classical ...
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Is an "observer" always implied in scientific statements?

I'm not sure what it's called, but Russell famously resolved problematic statements like "The present King of France is bald," simply by saying that it contains a hidden assumption of ...
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Does quantum mechanics imply some kind of panpsychism?

As I understand it, one response to quantum immortality thought experiments is that we haven't yet escaped the instant of death, and it's of little relevance anyway, because that instant is small ...
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3answers
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Quantum immortality testability paradox [closed]

Let's suppose the many worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics (MWI) is correct and a Schrödinger's box is possible. I put myself in the box. I live or die. I repeat. One version of me keeps ...
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3answers
140 views

What is the relation between the propensity interpretation of probability and probability in physics?

I would like to know what physicists think about the propensity viewpoint.If this latter one is in line with physics and especially Quantum Mechanics. Otherwise, what is the most coherent ...
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Quantum Mechanics and Radical Constructivism

Is there an interpretation of quantum mechanics (QM) based on radical constructivism? If yes, what construction of QM does it suggest? If no, can you speculate on such interpretation? So far my ...