Since 1986 Darwin College, Cambridge has organised a series of annual public lectures built around a single theme approached in a multi-disciplinary way. These essays were developed from the 2008 lectures, which explored the idea of serendipity – the relationship between good fortune and the preparation of the mind to spot and exploit it. Serendipity is an appealing concept, and one which has been surprisingly influential in a great number of areas of human discovery. The essays collected in this volume (...) provide insightful and entertaining accounts of the relationship between serendipity and knowledge, in the human and natural sciences. Written by some of the most eminent thinkers of this generation, Serendipity explores a variety of subjects, including disease, politics, scientific invention and the art of writing. This collection will fascinate and inspire a wide range of readers, highlighting the multifaceted nature of the popular, but elusive, concept of serendipity. -/- Contents: Introduction. Fortune and the prepared mind Iain Morley and Mark de Rond; 1. The stratigraphy of serendipity Susan E. Alcock; 2. Understanding humans - serendipity and anthropology Richard Leakey; 3. HIV and the naked ape Robin Weiss; 4. Cosmological serendipity Simon Singh; 5. Serendipity in astronomy Andrew C. Fabian; 6. Serendipity in physics Richard Friend; 7. Liberalism and uncertainty Oliver Letwin; 8. The unanticipated pleasures of the writing life Simon Winchester. (shrink)
The essays from prominent public intellectuals collected in this volume reflect an array of perspectives on the spectrum of conflict, competition, and cooperation, as well as a wealth of expertise on how games manifest in the world, how they operate, and how social animals behave inside them. They include previously unpublished material by former Cabinet minister Sayeeda Warsi, the philosopher A. C. Grayling, legal scholar Nicola Padfield, cycling coach David Brailsford, former military intelligence officer Frank Ledwidge, neuro-psychologist Barbara J. Sahakian, (...) zoological ecologist Nicholas B. Davies, and the final work of the late Nobel laureate Thomas C. Schelling. This is a must-read for anyone interested in the history, nature, and dynamics of games. (shrink)
België kende in 1991 een bewogen politiek jaar. De houding van de regering in het Golfconflict veroorzaakte spanningen in de regering-Martens VIII, die nog werden aangescherpt door de rel rond de aanwezigheid in het land van Walid Khaled, de woordvoerder van de terreurgroep van Aboe Nidal, waarover het doek pas eind juni viel. Tijdens de zomer stelde de regering, naar jaarlijkse gewoonte, de begroting voor het volgende jaar op. Tevens werden afspraken gemaakt over de verdere hervorming van de staat. (...) Tot een parlementaire behandeling van de begroting en de staatshervorming is het evenwel niet gekomen. Een dispuut over de uitvoer van wapens naar het Golf gebied leidde in september tot een politieke crisis. De Volksunie verliet de regering, die kort daarop aan communautaire tegenstellingen ten onder ging. Bij de vervroegde verkiezingen van 24 november leden de aftredende regeringspartijen verlies. Pogingen om een nieuwe regering op de been te brengen, zaten eind december nog muurvast. (shrink)
In this paper we present a new categorical approach which attempts to provide an original understanding of QM. Our logos categorical approach attempts to consider the main features of the quantum formalism as the standpoint to develop a conceptual representation that explains what the theory is really talking about —rather than as problems that need to be bypassed in order to allow a restoration of a classical “common sense” understanding of what there is. In particular, we discuss a solution to (...) Kochen-Specker contextuality through the generalization of the meaning of global valuation. This idea has been already addressed by the so called topos approach to QM —originally proposed by Isham, Butterfiled and D ̈oring— in terms of sieve-valued valuations. The logos approach to QM presents a different solution in terms of the notion of intensive valuation. This new solution stresses an ontological reading of the quantum formalism and the need to restore an objective conceptual representation and understanding of quantum physical reality. (shrink)
In de Ronde and Massri it was argued against the orthodox definition of quantum entanglement in terms of pure and separable states. In this paper we attempt to discuss how the logos categorical approach to quantum mechanics is able to provide an objective formal account of the notion of entanglement—completely independent of both purity and separability—in terms of the potential coding of intensive relations and effective relations. We will show how our novel redefinition allows us to provide an anschaulich content (...) to the notion of entanglement, erasing in this way the “spookiness” still present within its orthodox understanding in terms of space-time separated collapse particles. (shrink)
In a recent paper  Arroyo and Arenhart presented a detailed critical analysis regarding some essential aspects of representational realism and the logos approach to Quantum Mechanics (QM) addressed in terms of i) “a diagnosis of what is wrong with currently available solutions”; ii) “a proposal of a new methodology for addressing the problem”; and finally, iii) “a positive proposal to answer the question, which is arrived at by following the methodology suggested.” In this work we provide a detailed reply (...) to some deep misunderstandings that arise in this presentation and which, in turn, allow Arroyo and Arenhart to conclude that “contrarily to what de Ronde has suggested, his proposal is not a way to avoid commitment to uncritical images of reality, but rather, one further position in the already huge cart of options of quantum mechanics.” After providing a more accurate account of our diagnosis, we continue to address our methodology which —like that of Einstein, Heisenberg, Pauli and Schrödinger— goes back to the Greek-Modern account of physics. We then present our proposal grounded on the invariant-objective search for theoretical unity and discuss why intensive powers of action cannot be considered in dispositional or teleological terms with respect to actuality. Finally, we list some of the main results already accomplished by the logos approach and discuss the essential role of ‘intuition’ and ‘understanding’ within the realist setting. (shrink)
In this paper we consider the notion of quantum entanglement from the perspective of the logos categorical approach [26, 27]. Firstly, we will argue that the widespread distinctions, on the one hand, between pure states and mixed states, and on the other, between separable states and entangled states, are completely superfluous when considering the orthodox mathematical formalism of QM. We will then argue that the introduction of these distinctions within the theory of quanta is due to another two completely unjustified (...) metaphysical presuppositions, namely, the idea that there is a “collapse” of quantum states when being measured and the idea that QM talks about “elementary particles”. At distance from these distinctions and taking the logos approach as a standpoint, we will propose an objective formal account of the notion of entanglement in terms of potential coding which introduces the necessary distinction between intensive relations and effective relations. We will also discuss how this new definition of entanglement provides an anschaulich content to this —supposedly “spooky”— quantum relational feature. (shrink)
Quantum Logic in Historical and Philosophical Perspective Quantum Logic was developed as an attempt to construct a propositional structure that would allow for describing the events of interest in Quantum Mechanics. QL replaced the Boolean structure, which, although suitable for the discourse of classical physics, was inadequate for representing the atomic realm. The … Continue reading Quantum Logic →.
In this paper we attempt to analyze the physical and philosophical meaning of quantum contextuality. We will argue that there exists a general confusion within the foundational literature arising from the improper “scrambling” of two different meanings of quantum contextuality. While the first one, introduced by Bohr, is related to an epistemic interpretation of contextuality which stresses the incompatibility of measurement situations described in classical terms; the second meaning of contextuality is related to a purely formal understanding of contextuality as (...) exposed by the Kochen–Specker theorem which focuses instead on the constraints of the orthodox quantum formalism in order to interpret projection operators as preexistent or actual properties. We will show how these two notions have been scrambled together creating an “omelette of contextuality” which has been fully widespread through a popularized “epistemic explanation” of the KS theorem according to which: The measurement outcome of the observableAwhen measured together withBor together withCwill necessarily differ in case\, and\. We will show why this statement is not only improperly scrambling epistemic and formal perspectives, but is also physically and philosophically meaningless. Finally, we analyze the consequences of such widespread epistemic reading of KS theorem as related to statistical statements of measurement outcomes. (shrink)
In this paper we intend to discuss the importance of providing a physical representation of quantum superpositions which goes beyond the mere reference to mathematical structures and measurement outcomes. This proposal goes in the opposite direction to the project present in orthodox contemporary philosophy of physics which attempts to “bridge the gap” between the quantum formalism and common sense “classical reality”—precluding, right from the start, the possibility of interpreting quantum superpositions through non-classical notions. We will argue that in order to (...) restate the problem of interpretation of quantum mechanics in truly ontological terms we require a radical revision of the problems and definitions addressed within the orthodox literature. On the one hand, we will discuss the need of providing a formal redefinition of superpositions which captures explicitly their contextual character. On the other hand, we will attempt to replace the focus on the measurement problem, which concentrates on the justification of measurement outcomes from “weird” superposed states, and introduce the superposition problem which focuses instead on the conceptual representation of superpositions themselves. In this respect, after presenting three necessary conditions for objective physical representation, we will provide arguments which show why the classical representation of physics faces severe difficulties to solve the superposition problem. Finally, we will also argue that, if we are willing to abandon the presupposition according to which ‘Actuality = Reality’, then there is plenty of room to construct a conceptual representation for quantum superpositions. (shrink)
In this paper we provide a general account of the causal models which attempt to provide a solution to the famous measurement problem of Quantum Mechanics. We will argue that—leaving aside instrumentalism which restricts the physical meaning of QM to the algorithmic prediction of measurement outcomes—the many interpretations which can be found in the literature can be distinguished through the way they model the measurement process, either in terms of the efficient cause or in terms of the final cause. We (...) will discuss and analyze why both, ‘final cause’ and ‘efficient cause’ models, face severe difficulties to solve the measurement problem. In contradistinction to these schemes we will present a new model based on the immanent cause which, we will argue, provides an intuitive understanding of the measurement process in QM. (shrink)
In this paper we attempt to physically interpret the Modal Kochen–Specker theorem. In order to do so, we analyze the features of the possible properties of quantum systems arising from the elements in an orthomodular lattice and distinguish the use of “possibility” in the classical and quantum formalisms. Taking into account the modal and many worlds non-collapse interpretation of the projection postulate, we discuss how the MKS theorem rules the constraints to actualization, and thus, the relation between actual and possible (...) realms. (shrink)
In this work we attempt to analyze the intra-theoretic characterization provided by Hilary Putnam and Werner Heisenberg between quantum mechanics and other theories. The first defended the idea that physical theories include macro principles that under specific definite historical conditions can be revised on the light of rival principles. Putnam will concentrate in the impact that quantum mechanics has produced in the classical image of knowledge. Heisenberg, on the other hand, develops his analysis from the notion of closed theories, assuming (...) the independence and incommensurability of physical theories. These divergences between the two authors will allow us to analyze how the disagreement in the consideration of the status of physical theories, goes deeper into more profound aspects related to the nature of knowledge and the relation between theory and world. (shrink)
In this paper we attempt to analyze the concept of quantum probability within quantum computation and quantum computational logic. While the subjectivist interpretation of quantum probability explains it as a reliable predictive tool for an agent in order to compute measurement outcomes, the objectivist interpretation understands quantum probability as providing reliable information of a real state of affairs. After discussing these different viewpoints we propose a particular objectivist interpretation grounded on the idea that the Born rule provides information about an (...) intensive realm of reality. We then turn our attention to the way in which the subjectivist interpretation of probability is presently applied within both quantum computation and quantum computational logic. Taking as a standpoint our proposed intensive account of quantum probability we discuss the possibilities and advantages it might open for the modeling and development of both quantum computation and quantum computational logic. (shrink)
In this work we attempt to confront the orthodox widespread claim, present in the philosophical and foundational debates about Quantum Mechanics (QM), that ‘superpositions are never actually observed in the lab’. In order to do so, we begin by providing a critical analysis of the famous measurement problem which, we will argue, was originated as a consequence of the strict application of the empirical-positivist requirements to subsume the quantum formalism under their specific understanding of a physical ‘theory’. In particular, the (...) ad hoc introduction of the projection postulate (or measurement rule) can be understood as the necessity of imposing a naive empiricist standpoint which presupposes that observations are self evident givens of “common sense” experience independent of metaphysical (or conceptual) presuppositions yet necessarily represented in binary terms. We then turn our attention to two “non-collapse” interpretations of QM—namely, modal and many worlds—which even though deny that the “collapse” is a real physical process retain anyhow the projection rule as a necessary axiom of the theory itself. In contraposition, following Einstein’s claim that “it is only the theory which decides what can be observed”, we propose a return to the realist representational understanding of physical theories in which ‘observation’ is not a “self evident” given of experience but something that can be only understood in the context of a theoretical (formal-conceptual) scheme. It is from this standpoint that we discuss a new non-classical conceptual representation which allows us to understand quantum phenomena in an intuitive (anschaulicht) manner. Leaving behind the projection postulate, we discuss the general physical conditions for measuring and observing quantum superpositions in the lab. (shrink)
We argue that the notion of pure sate within Standard Quantum Mechanics is presently applied within the specialized literature in relation to two mutually inconsistent definitions. While the first provides a basis-dependent definition which makes reference to the certain prediction of measurement outcomes, the latter provides a purely abstract invariant definition which lacks operational content. In this work we derive a theorem which exposes the serious inconsistencies existent within these two incompatible definitions of purity.
In classical physics, probabilistic or statistical knowledge has been always related to ignorance or inaccurate subjective knowledge about an actual state of affairs. This idea has been extended to quantum mechanics through a completely incoherent interpretation of the Fermi-Dirac and Bose-Einstein statistics in terms of "strange" quantum particles. This interpretation, naturalized through a widespread "way of speaking" in the physics community, contradicts Born's physical account of Ψ as a "probability wave" which provides statistical information about outcomes that, in fact, cannot (...) be interpreted in terms of 'ignorance about an actual state of affairs'. In the present paper we discuss how the metaphysics of actuality has played an essential role in limiting the possibilities of understating things differently. We propose instead a metaphysical scheme in terms of powers with definite potentia which allows us to consider quantum probability in a new light, namely, as providing objective knowledge about a potential state of affairs. (shrink)
In this paper we discuss the representational realist stance as a pluralist ontic approach to inter-theoretic relationships. Our stance stresses the fact that physical theories require the necessary consideration of a conceptual level of discourse which determines and configures the specific field of phenomena discussed by each particular theory. We will criticize the orthodox line of research which has grounded the analysis about QM in two metaphysical presuppositions —accepted in the present as dogmas that all interpretations must follow. We will (...) also examine how the orthodox project of "bridging the gap" between the quantum and the classical domains has constrained the possibilities of research, producing only a limited set of interpretational problems which only focus in the justification of "classical reality" and exclude the possibility of analyzing the possibilities of non-classical conceptual representations of QM. The representational realist stance introduces two new problems, namely, the superposition problem and the contextuality problem, which consider explicitly the conceptual representation of orthodox QM beyond the mere reference to mathematical structures and measurement outcomes. In the final part of the paper, we revisit, from a representational realist perspective, the quantum to classical limit and the orthodox claim that this inter-theoretic relation can be explained through the principle of decoherence. (shrink)
In , Newton da Costa together with the author of this paper argued in favor of the possibility to consider quantum superpositions in terms of a paraconsistent approach. We claimed that, even though most interpretations of quantum mechanics attempt to escape contradictions, there are many hints that indicate it could be worth while to engage in a research of this kind. Recently, Arenhart and Krause [1, 2, 3] have raised several arguments against this approach and claimed that —taking into account (...) the square of opposition— quantum superpositions are better understood in terms of contrariety propositions rather than contradictory propositions. In  we defended the Paraconsistent Approach to Quantum Superpositions and provided arguments in favor of its development. In the present paper we attempt to analyze the meanings of modality, potentiality and contradiction in QM, and provide further arguments of why the PAQS is better suited, than the Contrariety Approach to Quantum Superpositions proposed by Arenhart and Krause, to face the interpretational questions that quantum technology is forcing us to consider. (shrink)
In, Newton da Costa together with the author of this paper argued in favor of the possibility to consider quantum superpositions in terms of a paraconsistent approach. We claimed that, even though most interpretations of quantum mechanics attempt to escape contradictions, there are many hints that indicate it could be worth while to engage in a research of this kind. Recently, Arenhart and Krause have raised several arguments against this approach. In the present paper we attempt to answer the main (...) questions presented by Arenhart and Krause. We will argue, firstly, that the obstacles presented by them are based on a specific metaphysical stance, which we will characterize in terms of what we call the Orthodox Line of Research. Secondly, that this is not necessarily the only possible line, and that a different one, namely, a Constructive Metaphysical Line of Research provides a different perspective in which the Paraconsistent Approach to Quantum Superpositions can be regarded as a valuable prospect that could be used by different interpretations of quantum mechanics. Finally, we provide a set of specific answers to the main problems raised by Arenhart and Krause in order to clarify our line of research as well as the original perspective introduced by the PAQS. (shrink)
In a recent paper Griffiths  has argued, based on the consistent histories interpretation, that Hilbert space quantum mechanics is noncontextual. According to Griffiths the problem of contextuality disappears if the apparatus is “designed and operated by a competent experimentalist” and we accept the Single Framework Rule. We will argue from a representational realist stance that the conclusion is incorrect due to the misleading understanding provided by Griffiths to the meaning of quantum contextuality and its relation to physical reality and (...) measurements. We will discuss how the quite general incomprehension of contextuality has its origin in the ''objective-subjective omelette'' created by Heisenberg and Bohr. We will argue that in order to unscramble the omelette we need to disentangle, firstly, representational realism from naive realism, secondly, ontology from epistemology, and thirdly, the different interpretational problems of QM. In this respect, we will analyze what should be considered as Meaningful Physical Statements within a theory and will argue that Counterfactual Reasoning -considered by Griffiths as ''tricky''- must be accepted as a necessary condition for any representational realist interpretation of QM. Finally we discuss what should be considered as a problem in QM from a representational realist perspective. (shrink)
Explores the place of intellectual virtues and vices in a social world. Chapters are divided into four sections: Foundational Issues; Individual Virtues; Collective Virtues; and Methods and Measurements.
In this paper we analyze and discuss the historical and philosophical development of the notion of logical possibility focusing on its specific meaning in classical and quantum mechanics. Taking into account the logical structure of quantum theory we continue our discussion regarding the Aristotelian Square of Opposition in orthomodular structures enriched with a monadic quantifier. Finally, we provide an interpretation of the Orthomodular Square of Opposition exposing the fact that classical possibility and quantum possibility behave formally in radically different manners.
In this paper we attempt to discuss what has Kochen-Specker theorem to say about physical invariance and quantum individuality. In particular, we will discuss the impossibility of making reference to objective physical properties within the orthodox formalism of quantum mechanics. Through an analysis of the meaning of physical invariance and quantum contextuality we will derive a Corollary to KS theorem that proves that a vector in Hilbert space cannot be interpreted coherently as an object possessing physical properties. As a consequence, (...) the notion of quantum object can be only defined in terms of nomological properties. We conclude the paper by analyzing the consequences of this Corollary to KS theorem for the ongoing debate about quantum individuality. (shrink)
In this paper we attempt to provide a physical representation of quantum superpositions. For this purpose we discuss the constraints of the quantum formalism to the notion of possibility and the necessity to consider a potential realm independent of actuality. Taking these insights into account and from the basic principles of quantum mechanics itself we advance towards the definition of the notions of power and potentia. Assuming these notions as a standpoint we analyze the meaning of ‘observation’ and ‘interaction’. As (...) a conclusion we provide a set of axioms which comprise our interpretation of quantum mechanics and argue in favor of a redefinition of the orthodox problems discussed in the literature. (shrink)
In this paper we analyze the definition of quantum superpositions within orthodox Quantum Mechanics and their relation to physical reality. We will begin by discussing how the metaphysical presuppositions imposed by Bohr on the interpretation of QM have become not only interpretational dogmas which constrain the limits of the present Orthodox Line of Research, but also how these desiderata implicitly preclude the possibility of developing a physical representation of quantum superpositions. We will then continue analyzing how most interpretations of QM (...) argue against the existence of superpositions. Firstly, we will focus on those interpretations which attempt to recover a classical representation about ''what there is'', and secondly, we will concentrate on the arguments provided by Dieks and Griffiths who, staying close to the orthodox formalism, also attempt to ''get rid of the ghost of Schrodinger's cat''. Contrary to the OLR, we will argue -based on our definition of Meaningful Physical Statements - that from a representational realist perspective which stays close to the orthodox Hilbert space formalism, quantum superpositions are not only the key to the most important -present and future- technological and experimental developments in quantum information processing but also, they must be considered as the kernel of any interpretation of QM that attempts to provide a physical representation of reality. We will also argue that the price to pay for such representational realist development must be the abandonment of the idea that 'Actuality = Reality'. (shrink)
In this paper, we propose a Simondonian interpretation of quantum mechanics taking as a standpoint his “preindividual hypothesis” in order to consider the problem of contextuality. We will examine whether the epistemological obstacle produced by the notion of entity can be bypassed by specifying, according to Simondon and the Kochen-Specker Theorem, the mode of existence of quantum potentialities.
In this paper we discuss the so called "quantum omelette" created by Bohr and Heisenberg through the mix of objective accounts and subjective ones within the analysis of Quantum Mechanics. We will begin by addressing the difficult relation between ontology and epistemology within the history of both physics and philosophy. We will then argue that the present "quantum omelette" is being presently cooked in two opposite directions: the first scrambling ontological problems with epistemological solutions and the second scrambling epistemic approaches (...) with ontological questions. A good example of the former is a new type of argumentation strategy attempting to justify the use of decoherence, namely, the "For All Practical Purposes" type of justification. We will argue that 'FAPP-type solutions' remain, at best, epistemological answers which not only escape the ontological questions at stake -regarding the quantum to classical limit- but also turn the original problem completely meaningless. The latter omelette can be witnessed in relation to some criticisms raised against the epistemic Bayesian approach to QM. We will argue that QBists have produced a consistent scheme that might allow us to begin to unscramble -at least part of- the "quantum omelette". In this respect, we will show why the epistemic QBist approach is safe from several criticisms it has recently received. We end our paper with a discussion about the importance of ontological approaches within foundations of QM. (shrink)
In this paper we investigate the history of relationalism and its present use in some interpretations of quantum mechanics. In the first part of this article we will provide a conceptual analysis of the relation between substantivalism, relationalism and relativism in the history of both physics and philosophy. In the second part, we will address some relational interpretations of quantum mechanics, namely, Bohr’s relational approach, the modal interpretation by Kochen, the perspectival modal version by Bene and Dieks and the relational (...) interpretation by Rovelli. We will argue that all these interpretations ground their understanding of relations in epistemological terms. By taking into account the analysis on the first part of our work, we intend to highlight the fact that there is a different possibility for understanding quantum mechanics in relational terms which has not been yet considered within the foundational literature. This possibility is to consider relations in ontological terms. We will argue that such an understanding might be capable of providing a novel approach to the problem of representing what quantum mechanics is really talking about. (shrink)
We interpret the philosophy of Niels Bohr as related to the so called ''linguistic turn'' and consider paraconsistency in the light of the Bohrian notion of complementarity. Following , Jean-Yves Beziau has discussed the seemingly contradictory perspectives found in the quantum mechanical double slit experiment in terms of paraconsistent view-points [7, 8]. This interpretation goes in line with the well known Bohrian Neo-Kantian epistemological account of quantum mechanics. In the present paper, we put forward the idea that one can also (...) consider, within quantum mechanics and departing from the philosophy of the danish physicist, a more radical paraconsistency found within one of the main formal elements of the theory, namely, quantum superpositions. We will argue that, rather than epistemological, the contradictions found within quantum superpositions could be interpreted as ontological contradictions. (shrink)
The following analysis attempts to provide a general account of the multiple solutions given to the quantum measurement problem in terms of causality. Leaving aside instrumentalism which restricts its understanding of quantum mechanics to the algorithmic prediction of measurement outcomes, the many approaches which try to give an answer can be distinguished by their explanation based on the efficient cause —recovering in this way a classical physical description— or based on the final cause —which goes back to the hylomorphic tradition. (...) Going beyond the limits of these two schemes we call the attention to an ‘inversion of the measurement problem’ and its proposed solution based on the immanent cause. By replacing both the final and efficient causes by the immanent cause we attempt to lay down new conditions for representing quantum superpositions in a realist way which coherently relates the quantum formalism with outcomes. (shrink)
In the framework of the topos approach to quantum mechanics we give a representation of physical properties in terms of modal operators on Heyting algebras. It allows us to introduce a classical type study of the mentioned properties.
In this paper we attempt to analyze the physical and philosophical meaning of quantum contextuality. In the first part we will argue that a general confusion within the literature comes from the improper "scrambling" of two different meanings of quantum contextuality. The first one is related to an epistemic interpretation of contextuality, introduced by Bohr, which stresses the incompatibility of quantum measurements. The second, is related to an ontic notion of contextuality, exposed through the Kochen-Specker theorem, which focuses on the (...) constraints to discuss about actual properties within the orthodox formalism of QM. We will show how these two notions have been scrambled together creating an "omelette of contextuality" which has been fully widespread through a popularized "epistemic explanation" of the KS theorem according to which: The outcome of the observable A when mea- sured together with B or together with C will necessarily differ in case [A,B] = [A,C] = 0, and [B,C] ̸= 0. We will show why this statement is not only improperly scrambling epistemic and ontic perspectives, but is also physically and philosophically meaningless. In the second part of the paper, we will analyse the relation between ‘classical contexts’ and QM. We will show that three accepted presuppositions found within the orthodox literature are, in general, false. Namely: that quantum contextuality does not preclude an objective description of physical reality, that the choice of a context restores a classical description of reality, and that the choice of a context is a necessary condition for accounting for empirical statements in QM. (shrink)
In this paper we derive a theorem which proves that the physical interpretation implied by the first postulate of quantum mechanics is inconsistent with the orthodox formalism. In order to expose this inconsistency we will analyze how the concept of ‘physical system’ is built within classical theories through the notion of invariance and explain in what sense a vector in Hilbert space is not capable of fulfilling these same mathematical conditions. Through an analysis of the mathematical formalism we derive a (...) No Dynamical Invariance theorem which proves that, contrary to what is claimed in the first postulate, a vector in Hilbert space cannot be interpreted coherently as the state of a physical system. We conclude the paper by analyzing the consequences of the NDI theorem with respect to several ongoing debates in QM. (shrink)
In this paper we we will argue against the orthodox definition of quantum entanglement which has been implicitly grounded on several widespread presuppositions which have no relation whatsoever to the formalism of QM. We will show how these presuppositions have been introduced through a naive interpretation of the quantum mathematical structure which assumes dogmatically that the theory talks about "small particles" represented by pure states which suddenly "collapse" when a measurement takes place. In the second part of this paper we (...) will present a non-collapse approach to QM which makes no use whatsoever of particle metaphysics, escaping the need to make reference to space-time separability or the restriction to certain predictions of definite valued binary properties. Our paper ends up concluding the essential need to redefine the notion of quantum entanglement, at least in the cases of: i) non-collapse interpretations of QM; or, ii) any other interpretation which abandons the idea that QM makes reference to "small particles". (shrink)
In this paper we address a deeply interesting debate that took place at the end of the last millennia between David Mermin, Adan Cabello and Michiel Seevinck, regarding the meaning of relationalism within quantum theory. In a series of papers, Mermin proposed an interpretation in which quantum correlations were considered as elements of physical reality. Unfortunately, the very young relational proposal by Mermin was too soon tackled by specially suited no-go theorems designed by Cabello and Seevinck. In this work we (...) attempt to reconsider Mermin's program from the viewpoint of the Logos Categorical Approach to QM. Following Mermin's original proposal, we will provide a redefinition of quantum relation which not only can be understood as a preexistent element of physical reality but is also capable to escape Cabello’s and Seevinck's no-go-theorems. In order to show explicitly that our notion of ontological quantum relation is safe from no-go theorems we will derive a non-contextuality theorem. We end the paper with a discussion regarding the physical meaning of quantum relationalism. (shrink)
In Aristotelian logic, categorical propositions are divided in Universal Affirmative, Universal Negative, Particular Affirmative and Particular Negative. Possible relations between two of the mentioned type of propositions are encoded in the square of opposition. The square expresses the essential properties of monadic first order quantification which, in an algebraic approach, may be represented taking into account monadic Boolean algebras. More precisely, quantifiers are considered as modal operators acting on a Boolean algebra and the square of opposition is represented by relations (...) between certain terms of the language in which the algebraic structure is formulated. This representation is sometimes called the modal square of opposition. Several generalizations of the monadic first order logic can be obtained by changing the underlying Boolean structure by another one giving rise to new possible interpretations of the square. (shrink)
Papers produced for a conference of economists, economic methodologists and historians of economics, convened to reflect on the question of whether MSRP - the methodology of scientific research programmes - has proved useful in the light of 20 years' experience.
Quantum Mechanics has faced deep controversies and debates since its origin when Werner Heisenberg proposed the first mathematical formalism capable to operationally account for what had been recently discovered as the new field of quantum phenomena. Today, even though we have reached a standardized version of QM which is taught in Universities all around the world, there is still no consensus regarding the conceptual reference of the theory and, if or if not, it can refer to something beyond measurement outcomes. (...) In this work we will argue that the reason behind the impossibility to reach a meaningful answer to this question is strictly related to the 20th Century Bohrian-positivist re-foundation of physics which is responsible for having introduced within the theory of quanta a harmful combination of metaphysical dogmatism and naive empiricism. We will also argue that the possibility of understanding QM is at plain sight, given we return to the original framework of physics in which the meaning of understanding has always been clear. (shrink)
In this work we discuss the widespread use and application of the notion of 'particle' within the standard understanding of quantum mechanics, trying to prove how it is not just an innocent and unproblematic “way of talking”, as it is often claimed, but the expression of an atomist metaphysics that represents rather a way of perceiving and thinking that inadvertently determines our understanding of the mathematical formalism and the experimental content of quantum mechanics. We show how the retention of atomist (...) concepts, especially due to Bohr’s work, appears not only as an epistemological obstacle but furthermore as an efficient factory of false problems and misleading intuitions that have concentrated the attention of researchers for some time. Revisiting again Heisenberg’s matrix mechanics, we discuss if it would be possible to advance beyond the substantialist account of QM going back to the operational-invariance of intensive quantities. (shrink)
In this paper we attempt to consider quantum superpositions from the perspective of the logos categorical approach presented in . We will argue that our approach allows us not only to better visualize the structural features of quantum superpositions providing an anschaulich content to all terms, but also to restore —through the intensive valuation of graphs and the notion of immanent power— an objective representation of what QM is really talking about. In particular, we will discuss how superpositions relate to (...) some of the main features of the theory of quanta, namely, contextuality, paraconsistency, probability and measurement. (shrink)
In this article we discuss the problem of finding an interpretation of quantum mechanics which provides an objective account of physical reality. In the first place we discuss the problem of interpretation and analyze the importance of such an objective account in physics. In this context we present the problems which arise when interpreting the quantum wave function within the orthodox formulation of quantum mechanics. In connection to this critic, we expose the concept of ‘entity’ as an epistemological obstruction. In (...) the second part of this paper we discuss the relation between actuality and potentiality in classical and quantum physics, and continue to present the concept of ontological potentiality which is distinguished from the generic Aristotelian notion of potentiality in terms of ‘becoming actual’. In this paper our main aim is to provide an objective interpretation of quantum mechanics which allows us to discuss the meaning of physical reality according to the theory. For this specific propose we present the concept of faculty in place of the concept of ‘entity’. Within our theory of faculties, we continue to discuss and interpret two paradigmatic experiments of quantum mechanics such as the double-slit and Schrodinger’s cat. (shrink)