Securing the objectivity of relative facts in the quantum world: Richard Healey

Foundations of Physics 52 (4):1-20 (2022)
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This paper compares and contrasts relational quantum mechanics with a pragmatist view of quantum theory. I first explain important points of agreement. Then I point to two problems faced by RQM and sketch DP?s solutions to analogous problems. Since both RQM and DP have taken the Born rule to require relative facts I next say what these might be. My main objection to RQM as originally conceived is that its ontology of relative facts is incompatible with scientific objectivity and undercuts the evidential base of quantum theory. In contrast DP?s relative facts have all the objectivity we need to accept quantum theory as scientific knowledge. But a very recent modification to RQM has successfully addressed my main objection,bringing the two views into even closer alignment.



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Richard Andrew Healey
University of Arizona

Citations of this work

Consistent histories through pragmatist lenses.Quentin Ruyant - 2023 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 98 (C):40-48.

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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.
Expressivism, Pragmatism and Representationalism.Huw Price, Simon Blackburn, Robert Brandom, Paul Horwich & Michael Williams - 2013 - Burlington, VT: Cambridge University Press. Edited by Simon Blackburn, Robert Brandom, Paul Horwich & Michael Williams.
Relational quantum mechanics.Carlo Rovelli - 1996 - International Journal of Theoretical Physics 35 (8):1637--1678.

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