Florian J. Boge
Bergische Universität Wuppertal
Despite remarkable efforts, it remains notoriously difficult to equip quantum theory with a coherent ontology. Hence, Healey (2017, 12) has recently suggested that ‘‘quantum theory has no physical ontology and states no facts about physical objects or events’’, and Fuchs et al. (2014, 752) similarly hold that ‘‘quantum mechanics itself does not deal directly with the objective world’’. While intriguing, these positions either raise the question of how talk of ‘physical reality’ can even remain meaningful, or they must ultimately embrace a hidden variables-view, in tension with their original project. I here offer a neo-Kantian alternative. In particular, I will show how constitutive elements in the sense of Reichenbach (1920) and Friedman (1999, 2001) can be identified within quantum theory, through considerations of symmetries that allow the constitution of a ‘quantum reality’, without invoking any notion of a radically mind-independent reality. The resulting conception will inherit elements from pragmatist and ‘QBist’ approaches, but also differ from them in crucial respects. Furthermore, going beyond the Friedmanian program, I will show how non-fundamental and approximate symmetries can be relevant for identifying constitutive principles.
Keywords Neo-Kantianism  Symmetries  Realism  Approximate Symmetries
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1016/j.shpsa.2021.03.009
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 65,636
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Regarding the ‘Hole Argument’.James Owen Weatherall - 2018 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 69 (2):329-350.
Regarding the ‘Hole Argument’.James Owen Weatherall - 2016 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axw012.

View all 43 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Zeilinger on Information and Reality.Ali Barzegar, Mostafa Taqavi & Afshin Shafiee - 2021 - Foundations of Science 26 (4):1007-1019.
Everyday Quantum Reality.David A. Grandy - 2010 - Indiana University Press.
The Best of Many Worlds, or, is Quantum Decoherence the Manifestation of a Disposition?Florian J. Boge - 2019 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 66:135-144.
Quantum Computer: Quantum Model and Reality.Vasil Penchev - 2020 - Epistemology eJournal (Elsevier: SSRN) 13 (17):1-7.
Emergent Reality in Quantum From Classical Transition.Tabish Qureshi - 2019 - In Siddheshwar Rameshwar Bhatt (ed.), Quantum Reality and Theory of Śūnya. Springer. pp. 27-35.


Added to PP index

Total views
15 ( #683,103 of 2,462,279 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
7 ( #101,658 of 2,462,279 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes