Authors
Joshua Rosaler
Oxford University
Abstract
I show explicitly how concerns about wave function collapse and ontology can be decoupled from the bulk of technical analysis necessary to recover localized, approximately Newtonian trajectories from quantum theory. In doing so, I demonstrate that the account of classical behavior provided by decoherence theory can be straightforwardly tailored to give accounts of classical behavior on multiple interpretations of quantum theory, including the Everett, de Broglie-Bohm and GRW interpretations. I further show that this interpretation-neutral, decoherence-based account conforms to a general view of inter-theoretic reduction in physics that I have elaborated elsewhere, which differs from the oversimplified and often ambiguous picture that treats reduction simply as a matter of taking limits. This interpretation-neutral account rests on a general three-pronged strategy for reduction between quantum and classical theories that combines decoherence, an appropriate form of Ehrenfest's Theorem, and a decoherence-compatible mechanism for collapse. It also incorporates a novel argument as to why branch-relative trajectories should be approximately Newtonian, which is based on a little-discussed extension of Ehrenfest's Theorem to open systems, rather than on the more commonly cited but less germane closed-systems version. In the Conclusion, I briefly suggest how the strategy for quantum-classical reduction described here might be extended to reduction between other classical and quantum theories, including classical and quantum field theory and classical and quantum gravity.
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DOI 10.1016/j.shpsb.2015.10.001
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References found in this work BETA

Quantum Theory of Probability and Decisions.David Deutsch - 1999 - Proceedings of the Royal Society of London:3129--37.
Quantum Probability From Subjective Likelihood: Improving on Deutsch's Proof of the Probability Rule.David Wallace - 2007 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 38 (2):311-332.

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Citations of this work BETA

The Role of Decoherence in Quantum Mechanics.Guido Bacciagaluppi - 2003 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Reduction as an a Posteriori Relation.Joshua Rosaler - 2019 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 70 (1):269-299.
Quantum ontology without speculation.Matthias Egg - 2021 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 11 (1):1-26.
The Classical Limit as an Approximation.Benjamin H. Feintzeig - 2020 - Philosophy of Science 87 (4):612-639.

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