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Questions tagged [quantum-physics]

If your question is more physics and less philosophy, consider asking it on Physics.SE (possibly with the soft-question tag).

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In which way does quantum mechanics disprove determinism?

I've heard this pop up in a discussion with my physicist/engineer roommates, but didn't care to ask at the time. Now I'm mighty curious about it. Wikipedia doesn't really seem to say much on this ...
35
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12answers
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Why is the complex number an integral part of physical reality?

In modern physics, the quantum wave distribution function necessarily uses complex numbers to represent itself. If physics defines the physical reality, then what we are saying by the statement above ...
17
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4answers
1k views

How does Penrose defeat the computational theory of mind?

In Shadows Of The Mind Roger Penrose puts forth a Gödelian argument against the computational theory of mind. He then goes on to suggest that quantum mechanics plays a central role in the realization ...
17
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5answers
4k views

Can a lack of knowledge or understanding invalidate a positive claim?

Consider the example of causal determinism. It can be phrased in many ways, all with identical meaning: - The idea that "every event, including human cognition and behavior, decision and action, is ...
16
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4answers
692 views

What are some good books about the philosophy of quantum mechanics?

I am fascinated about the implications of quantum mechanics to philosophy. Where can I find good references to the philosophy of quantum mechanics, and its implications for realism/antirealism, holism,...
11
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3answers
2k views

Does thermal time hypothesis finally resolve Zeno's paradox?

Is Time Just A Trick Of The Mind? (read article) Carlo Rovelli, one of the founder of Loop Quantum Gravity theory likes to think so. Furthermore wikipedia entry highlights: This position has lead ...
10
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7answers
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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 ...
10
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6answers
2k views

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 ...
10
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2answers
345 views

Is Conway-Kochen's “free will” theorem about quantum measurements an argument for panpsychism?

Conway and Kochen have proved a theorem about free will (no to be confused with the related Kochen–Specker theorem, which rules out hidden variables), which states that if we have a type of ...
10
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3answers
1k views

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 ...
10
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3answers
531 views

What would a quantum interpretation without ontology be like?

Luboš Motl keeps insisting quantum mechanics invalidates ontology, and has made ontology obsolete, just like phlogiston. What would metaphysics without ontology look like, where words like "existence" ...
10
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2answers
393 views

What is the ontological status of information that is permanently inaccessible to any conceivable observer?

Rovelli & others, in Relational Quantum Mechanics (RQM) take the simple ontological picture of the Copenhagen Picture and relativise it. This is what I was suggesting in this question, though I ...
9
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2answers
554 views

Is compatibilism still considered a valid approach to free will?

Has the Free Will Theorem of Conway and Kochen been taken seriously by the philosophical community? Is compatibilism still considered a valid approach to free will?
9
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2answers
2k views

What are the philosophical implications of the Higgs mechanism in theoretical physics?

The higgs mechanism is a mechanism by which gives gauge bosons their mass, by absorbing the goldstone bosons appearing in the goldstone theorem. I found this mechanism very mathematically beautiful, ...
9
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3answers
2k views

What are the philosophical implications of the uncertainty principle?

What, if any, are the major philosophical consequences of the uncertainty principle? Wikipedia describes the principle this way: [T]he principle implies that it is impossible to simultaneously ...
9
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2answers
2k views

What do Philosophers think about the Many Worlds Interpretation of quantum mechanics?

One of the interpretations of quantum mechanics is the Many Worlds Interpretation which basically states that the universe as a whole develops like an unobserved quantum system, and any observation ...
8
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5answers
819 views

Does Quantum Entanglement Disprove the Principle of Locality?

Regarding the debate between quantum mechanics and determinism I have encountered a problem I can't find the answer to. It is my impression that in order to solve Bell's inequality you would have to ...
8
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8answers
2k views

Schrödinger's cat being “both dead and alive”

Famously, Schrödinger's cat is found to be both dead and alive within a closed system - at the mercy of quantum mechanics. But why is the cat "both dead and alive"? For the Copenhagen interpretation, ...
7
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3answers
672 views

Does Einstein's local realism in quantum mechanics imply superdeterminism?

Einstein insisted that nature is locally real, which is also know as counterfactual defeniteness and means that results of experiments are predetermined. But, if everything is predetermined in every ...
6
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5answers
612 views

Does wave-particle duality pose a challenge to ontology?

Quantum mechanics poses a challenge to epistemology in terms of what is measurable, what is observable, and realism in general. But does it pose a challenge to ontology as well? Ontology is the ...
6
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5answers
1k views

Can 'Nothing Exist before we measure it'?

Bohr famously said in relation to quantum systems: Nothing exists until we measure it This can't be right, for how can we measure Nothing, something that doesn't exist. It seems it must come into ...
6
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1answer
124 views

Where did Husserl say that in quantum mechanics spatial localisation is no longer a principle of individualisation?

According to Philosophy & Physics edited by Bernard d'Espagant: I am thinking of a text by Husserl, who was quite removed from physics, who said that the fundamental problem posed by QM is that ...
6
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2answers
146 views

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 ...
6
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2answers
609 views

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 ...
6
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3answers
531 views

How did quantum mechanics shape the scientific method?

Quantum mechanics has certainly changed scientific concepts (deterministic <-> probabilistic). But to which extent did it change the scientific method? Since I perceive the scientific method more ...
5
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1answer
540 views

Has there been any success in using modal logic to interpret Quantum Mechanics?

Quantum Mechanics rather famously has problems in interpretation - straightforward realism doesn't appear to work. Is there any work with modal logic that throws light on this question? The SEP has ...
5
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3answers
260 views

Are there laws of Nature?

The laws of physics observably change, that is their expression in terms of mathematics can, both through internal coherance & through physical insight. One supposes that there are actually laws ...
5
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3answers
230 views

Entanglement and the computability of nature

(Note - I edited to the question in response to answers) In the 1935 EPR paper, Einstein, Podolsky and Rosen write that given two entangled particles, one particle can be used to predict with ...
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3answers
1k views

Does quantum mechanics suggest that our scientific method is flawed?

Some quantum mechanics experiments seem to suggest that our current understanding of reality is flawed. Entanglement experiments show us that particles separated in space, can still somehow ...
4
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2answers
292 views

Does 'the quantum mind' solve the hard problem of consciousness and how popular is it?

Does 'the quantum mind' solve the hard problem of consciousness and how popular is it among philosophers of science? The hard problem of consciousness is the problem of explaining how and why we ...
4
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2answers
509 views

Nothing, God & Physical law

Mary-Jane Rubenstein writes in Cosmic Singularities At first blush, Hawking’s and Mlodinow’s “nothing” seems even more of a nothing than the church fathers’ nothing. For whereas Irenaeus’ and ...
4
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3answers
331 views

Is the unobserved universe quantum mechanical? [closed]

According to some interpretations of quantum mechanics, in our daily life we perceive classical reality because we, as the observers, collapse the wave function to perceive the environment around us. ...
4
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6answers
1k views

Does all matter exist forever?

I was reading about non-duality (spirituality / philosophy) that discusses the idea that everything in reality is one, since any matter can become any other matter, (a tree can become a chair and a ...
4
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3answers
153 views

Are physical measurements constructs?

This question was provoked by my knowledge of the kochen specker theorem, which if I am correct is a theory that states measurements sometimes, within a system, do not exist until it is consciously ...
4
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4answers
914 views

Will superdeterminism, if proven, make science useless?

Superdeterminism states that no experiment we perform has complete freedom, so no matter what you are trying to learn about how things work out in nature, nature will tell you what it wants to tell ...
4
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3answers
371 views

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 ...
4
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3answers
169 views

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?
4
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1answer
112 views

What are some good philosophical resources on nonlocality?

Bernard d'Espagnat offers a good treatment of nonlocality as it pertains to physics, in his 2006 On Physics and Philosophy. What I'm interested is whether nonlocality has been observed and discussed ...
4
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1answer
228 views

Should Time and Space Serve as Necessary or Contingent modalities of Division in Cosmology?

In the introduction to Process and Reality, Whitehead criticizes the tendency to posit logical or ontological necessity as the primary modes of cosmological explanation. For Whitehead time is a ...
4
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4answers
127 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 ...
4
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0answers
79 views

Are all pancomputationalist models for the universe compatible with informational realism?

Pancomputationalist theories are a group of physical theories that try to describe the universe itself as a computer or an informational (processing) structure. Informational (structural) realism is ...
3
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2answers
883 views

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 ...
3
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3answers
979 views

Does Quantum Physics Refute Ayn Rand's Objectivism?

Rand's Objectivisms' central tenets are that reality exists independently of consciousness, that human beings have direct contact with reality through sense perception, that one can attain objective ...
3
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4answers
259 views

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 ...
3
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2answers
269 views

Quantum Mechanics has formally undecidable problems. What is the philosophical significance of this?

A certain problem is quantum mechanics has been shown to be uncomputable. This means that although it is in a certain sense making a prediction, there is no systematic way to determine what prediction ...
3
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2answers
178 views

How does physics apply to philosophy? [closed]

A friend of mine keeps trying to convince me that within quantum mechanics there are deep philosophies. I must admit I'm lost, I saw "what the bleep do we know" and find the experiments interesting ...
3
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1answer
110 views

Is the “measurement problem” really about Quantum Mechanics?

Philosophers (Popper in particular) have long debated the interpretation of probability as applied to the world. Their concerns echo those of physics (frequency, preparation, ensembles, ). It would ...
3
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1answer
158 views

Can we have a present point in time in a reality based only on natural causes?

Physicists like Lawrence Krauss have explained that it is possible for particles, and even a universe such as ours, to arise spontaneously due to the very nature of the nothingness of empty space. ...
3
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2answers
103 views

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?
3
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2answers
734 views

What are the essential differences between Quantum & Classical Turing Machines?

The classical Turing machine comes in a variety of different flavours. The basic version is the one first outlined by Turing, the non-deterministic version allows finite branching at every computation ...