Truth as Contextual Correspondence in Quantum Mechanics

Philosophia Scientiae 19:199-212 (2015)
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Abstract

The semantics underlying the propositional structure of Hilbert space quantum mechanics involves an inherent ambiguity concerning the impossibility of assigning definite truth values to all propositions pertaining to a quantum system without generating a Kochen-Specker contradiction. Although the preceding Kochen-Specker result forbids a global, absolute assignment of truth values to quantum mechanical propositions, it does not exclude ones that are contextual. In this respect, the Bub-Clifton “uniqueness theorem” is utilized for arguing that truth-value definiteness is consistently restored with respect to a determinate sublattice of propositions defined by the state of the quantum system concerned and a suitable “preferred” observable. It is suggested that the most natural choice of the latter, especially for confronting the problem of truth valuation in quantum mechanics, results in the determinateness of the observable to be measured. An account of truth of contextual correspondence is thereby provided that is appropriate to the quantum domain of discourse. The resulting account of truth is compatible with a realist conception of truth. Such an account essentially denies that there can be a universal context of reference or an Archimedean standpoint from which to evaluate logically the totality of facts of nature.

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Vassilios Karakostas
University of Athens

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References found in this work

Making sense of relative truth.John MacFarlane - 2005 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 105 (3):321–339.
Xiv *-making sense of relative truth.John MacFarlane - 2005 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 105 (1):305-323.
A uniqueness theorem for ‘no collapse’ interpretations of quantum mechanics.Jeffrey Bub & Rob Clifton - 1996 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 27 (2):181-219.
Forms of quantum nonseparability and related philosophical consequences.Vassilios Karakostas - 2004 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 35 (2):283 - 312.

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