Philosophy of Science 72 (1):114-127 (2005)

Authors
Andreas Hüttemann
University of Cologne
Abstract
This paper tries to get a grip on two seemingly conflicting intuitions about reductionism in quantum mechanics. On the one hand it is received wisdom that quantum mechanics puts an end to ‘reductionism’. Quantum-entanglement is responsible for such features of quantum mechanics as holism, the failure of supervenience and emergence. While I agree with these claims I will argue that it is only part of the story. Quantum mechanics provides us with thorough-going reductionist explanations. I will distinguish two kinds of micro-explanation (or micro-‘reduction’). I will argue that even though quantum-entanglement provides an example for the failure of one kind of micro-explanation it does not affect the other. Contrary to a recent paper by Kronz and Tiehen I claim that the explanation of the dynamics of quantum mechanical systems is just as reductionist as it used to be in classical mechanics.
Keywords Explanation  Emergence  quantum-entanglement
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DOI 10.1086/428075
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References found in this work BETA

Nature's Capacities and Their Measurement.Nancy Cartwright - 1989 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
The Mind and its Place in Nature.Charlie Dunbar Broad - 1925 - London, England: Routledge.
The Mind and its place in nature.C. D. Broad - 1925 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 103:145-146.
How Properties Emerge.Paul Humphreys - 1997 - Philosophy of Science 64 (1):1-17.
Holism and Nonseparability.Richard A. Healey - 1991 - Journal of Philosophy 88 (8):393-421.

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Citations of this work BETA

Ceteris Paribus Laws in Physics.Andreas Hüttemann - 2014 - Erkenntnis 79 (S10):1715-1728.
Quantum Holism.Elizabeth Miller - 2016 - Philosophy Compass 11 (9):507-514.

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