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Is mereology empirical? Composition for fermions

Caulton, Adam (2014) Is mereology empirical? Composition for fermions. [Preprint]

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Abstract

How best to think about quantum systems under permutation invariance is a question that has received a great deal of attention in the literature. But very little attention has been paid to taking seriously the proposal that permutation invariance reflects a representational redundancy in the formalism. Under such a proposal, it is far from obvious how a constituent quantum system is represented. Consequently, it is also far from obvious how quantum systems compose to form assemblies, i.e. what is the formal structure of their relations of parthood, overlap and fusion.

In this paper, I explore one proposal for the case of fermions and their assemblies. According to this proposal, fermionic assemblies which are not entangled—in some heterodox, but natural sense of ‘entangled’—provide a prima facie counterexample to classical mereology. This result is puzzling; but, I argue, no more intolerable than any other available interpretative option.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Caulton, Adamadam.caulton@gmail.com
Keywords: Quantum mechanics, Mereology, Composition, Fermions, Permutation invariance
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Mechanics
General Issues > Reductionism/Holism
Specific Sciences > Physics > Symmetries/Invariances
Depositing User: Dr Adam Caulton
Date Deposited: 16 Jul 2015 15:23
Last Modified: 16 Jul 2015 15:23
Item ID: 11570
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Mechanics
General Issues > Reductionism/Holism
Specific Sciences > Physics > Symmetries/Invariances
Date: 29 August 2014
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/11570

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