Quantum theory is not only about information

Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 72:256-265 (2020)
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Abstract

In his recent book Bananaworld. Quantum mechanics for primates, Jeff Bub revives and provides a mature version of his influential information-theoretic interpretation of Quantum Theory (QT). In this paper, I test Bub’s conjecture that QT should be interpreted as a theory about information, by examining whether his information-theoretic interpretation has the resources to explain (or explain away) quantum conundrums. The discussion of Bub’s theses will also serve to investigate, more in general, whether other approaches succeed in defending the claim that QT is about quantum information. First of all, I argue that Bub’s interpretation of QT as a principle theory fails to fully explain quantum non-locality. Secondly, I argue that a constructive interpretation, where the quantum state is interpreted ontically as information, also fails at providing a full explanation of quantum correlations. Finally, while epistemic interpretations might succeed in this respect, I argue that such a success comes at the price of rejecting some in between the most basic scientific standards of physical theories.

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Citations of this work

Is the Information-Theoretic Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics an ontic structural realist view?Lucas Dunlap - 2022 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 91 (C):41-48.
Einstein’s Theory of Theories and Mechanicism.Diego Maltrana, Manuel Herrera & Federico Benitez - 2022 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 35 (2):153-170.
The operational framework for quantum theories is both epistemologically and ontologically neutral.Laurie Letertre - 2021 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 89 (C):129-137.

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References found in this work

Thinking about mechanisms.Peter Machamer, Lindley Darden & Carl F. Craver - 2000 - Philosophy of Science 67 (1):1-25.
Two concepts of causation.Ned Hall - 2004 - In John Collins, Ned Hall & Laurie Paul (eds.), Causation and Counterfactuals. MIT Press. pp. 225-276.

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