Philosophy of Physics: Quantum Theory

Princeton: Princeton University Press (2019)
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Abstract

A sophisticated and original introduction to the philosophy of quantum mechanics from one of the world’s leading philosophers of physics In this book, Tim Maudlin, one of the world’s leading philosophers of physics, offers a sophisticated, original introduction to the philosophy of quantum mechanics. The briefest, clearest, and most refined account of his influential approach to the subject, the book will be invaluable to all students of philosophy and physics. Quantum mechanics holds a unique place in the history of physics. It has produced the most accurate predictions of any scientific theory, but, more astonishing, there has never been any agreement about what the theory implies about physical reality. Maudlin argues that the very term “quantum theory” is a misnomer. A proper physical theory should clearly describe what is there and what it does—yet standard textbooks present quantum mechanics as a predictive recipe in search of a physical theory. In contrast, Maudlin explores three proper theories that recover the quantum predictions: the indeterministic wavefunction collapse theory of Ghirardi, Rimini, and Weber; the deterministic particle theory of deBroglie and Bohm; and the conceptually challenging Many Worlds theory of Everett. Each offers a radically different proposal for the nature of physical reality, but Maudlin shows that none of them are what they are generally taken to be.

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Tim Maudlin
New York University

Citations of this work

Quantum indeterminacy and the double-slit experiment.Claudio Calosi & Jessica Wilson - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (10):3291-3317.
Is the World a Heap of Quantum Fragments?Samuele Iaquinto & Claudio Calosi - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178:2009-2019.
Bohmian mechanics.Sheldon Goldstein - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
The Ineffability of Induction.David Builes - 2020 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 104 (1):129-149.

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