Dissolving the measurement problem is not an option for the realist

Egg, Matthias (2018). Dissolving the measurement problem is not an option for the realist. Studies in history and philosophy of modern physics, 66, pp. 62-68. Elsevier 10.1016/j.shpsb.2018.12.002

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This paper critically assesses the proposal that scientific realists do not need to search for a solution of the measurement problem in quantum mechanics, but should instead dismiss the problem as ill-posed. James Ladyman and Don Ross have sought to support this proposal with arguments drawn from their naturalized metaphysics and from a Bohr-inspired approach to quantum mechanics. I show that the first class of arguments is unsuccessful, because formulating the measurement problem does not depend on the metaphysical commitments which are undermined by ontic structural realism, rainforest realism, or naturalism in general. The second class of arguments is problematic due to its refusal to provide an analysis of the term “measurement”. It turns out that the proposed dissolution of the measurement problem is in conflict not only with traditional forms of scientific realism but even with the rather minimal realism that Ladyman and Ross themselves defend. The paper concludes with a brief discussion of two related proposals: Healey's pragmatist approach and Bub's information-theoretic interpretation.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of Art and Cultural Studies > Institute of Philosophy
06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of Art and Cultural Studies > Institute of Philosophy > Theoretical Philosophy

UniBE Contributor:

Egg, Matthias

Subjects:

100 Philosophy
100 Philosophy > 110 Metaphysics
100 Philosophy > 120 Epistemology
500 Science
500 Science > 530 Physics

ISSN:

1355-2198

Publisher:

Elsevier

Language:

English

Submitter:

Matthias Peter Egg

Date Deposited:

26 Jun 2019 15:40

Last Modified:

31 Oct 2019 15:43

Publisher DOI:

10.1016/j.shpsb.2018.12.002

Uncontrolled Keywords:

composition; measurement; information-theoretic realism; ontic structural realism; quantum mechanics; real patterns

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.129568

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/129568

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