The properties of modal interpretations of quantum mechanics

British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 47 (3):371-398 (1996)
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Abstract

Orthodox quantum mechanics includes the principle that an observable of a system possesses a well-defined value if and only if the presence of that value in the system is certain to be confirmed on measurement. Modal interpretations reject the controversial ‘only if’ half of this principle to secure definite outcomes for quantum measurements that leave the apparatus entangled with the object it has measured. However, using a result that turns on the construction of a Kochen–Specker contradiction, I argue that modal interpretations cannot deliver a metaphysically tenable conception of properties in quantum mechanics unless they also abandon the less controversial ‘if’ half of the orthodox principle.

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References found in this work

The Problem of Hidden Variables in Quantum Mechanics.Simon Kochen & E. P. Specker - 1967 - Journal of Mathematics and Mechanics 17:59--87.
Unique transition probabilities in the modal interpretation.Pieter E. Vermaas - 1996 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 27 (2):133-159.

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