Essay On Quantum Physics

Essay On Quantum Physics-79
This requires that, regardless of what they may seem to be about, all formulations of quantum mechanics -- indeed all fundamental physical theories whatsoever -- are in fact about a primitive ontology consisting of entities with ordinary histories in ordinary 3-dimensional space.We may ultimately want to account for the experiential intuitions of the primitive ontologist by showing how our best physical theories might, at some level of description, allow us to talk of ordinary objects with ordinary spatial relations.The essays are written in a way that does not presuppose a specialized mathematical or physical background in order to be accessible to philosophers.

This requires that, regardless of what they may seem to be about, all formulations of quantum mechanics -- indeed all fundamental physical theories whatsoever -- are in fact about a primitive ontology consisting of entities with ordinary histories in ordinary 3-dimensional space.We may ultimately want to account for the experiential intuitions of the primitive ontologist by showing how our best physical theories might, at some level of description, allow us to talk of ordinary objects with ordinary spatial relations.

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Essay On Quantum Physics

And, given the explanatory trade-offs involved, perhaps we should not even want one.Both clans take the question of the proper quantum metaphysics to be relatively straightforward when properly understood.The metaphysics-from-theory clan, as illustrated in the context of different formulations of quantum mechanics in the approaches of people like David Albert and David Wallace, takes its favored formulation of quantum mechanics, whatever that may be, to tell us directly what there is in the physical world and what it does.And the primitive-ontology clan, as Valia Allori characterizes her colleagues, holds that "all fundamental physical theories" share a set of common features.Salient among these is that they are all, properly conceived, ultimately about "entities living in three-dimensional space or in space-time" whose "histories through time provide a picture of the world according to the theory" (60).In quantum mechanics, however, it is typically unclear how to set up an appropriate supervenience relation.This is in part because, as a consequence of the Kochen-Specker theorem, a logically consistent formulation of quantum mechanics that makes the right empirical predictions can only make determinate a relatively impoverished collection of classical properties.A member of the metaphysics-from-theory clan takes whatever her favorite formulation of quantum mechanics seems to talk about most directly (e.g., particles with a determinate joint configuration and the wave function evolving in 3-dimensional configuration space) as fundamental, then seeks to explain how the objects of everyday experience might be accounted for in terms of such a theory-given metaphysics.In contrast, a member of the primitive-ontology clan seeks to identify a generic metaphysics that quantum mechanics and other physical theories might be taken to be about such that they would provide a satisfactory account of ordinary experience, then translates the quantum theory into something that talks about that generic metaphysics.It might, like Bohmian mechanics, tell us that whatsoever.And the upshot is that we are not left with much to work with in devising a supervenience relation that provides a compelling account of our ordinary experience of classical-seeming objects.

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