Four strategies for dealing with the counting anomaly in spontaneous collapse theories of quantum mechanics

International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 17 (2):137 – 142 (2003)
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Abstract

A few years ago, I argued that according to spontaneous collapse theories of quantum mechanics, arithmetic applies to macroscopic objects only as an approximation. Several authors have written articles defending spontaneous collapse theories against this charge, including Bassi and Ghirardi, Clifton and Monton, and now Frigg. The arguments of these authors are all different and all ingenious, but in the end I think that none of them succeeds, for reasons I elaborate here. I suggest a fourth line of response, based on an analogy with epistemic paradoxes, which I think is the best way to defend spontaneous collapse theories, and which leaves my main thesis intact.

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Peter J. Lewis
Dartmouth College

Citations of this work

Collapse theories.Giancarlo Ghirardi - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
The problem of ontology for spontaneous collapse theories.Bradley Monton - 2004 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 35 (3):407-421.
Non-accessible mass and the ontology of GRW.Cristian Mariani - 2022 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 91 (C):270-279.
GRW: A case study in quantum ontology.Peter J. Lewis - 2006 - Philosophy Compass 1 (2):224–244.

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References found in this work

Losing Your Marbles in Wavefunction Collapse Theories.Rob Clifton & Bradley Monton - 1999 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 50 (4):697 - 717.
Quantum mechanics, orthogonality, and counting.Peter J. Lewis - 1997 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 48 (3):313-328.
More about Dynamical Reduction and the Enumeration Principle.Angelo Bassi & GianCarlo Ghirardi - 1999 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 50 (4):719-734.
Discussion. Counting marbles with 'accessible' mass density: A reply to Bassi and Ghirardi.R. Clifton & B. Monton - 2000 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 51 (1):155-164.

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