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PERSPECTIVAL REALISM AND QUANTUM MECHANICS

Bitbol, Michel, Guy, Simon (1991) PERSPECTIVAL REALISM AND QUANTUM MECHANICS. UNSPECIFIED.

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Abstract

A complete reappraisal of the philosophical meaning of Everett's interpretation of quantum mechanics is carried out, by analysing carefully the role of the concept of "observer" in physics. It is shown that Everett's interpretation is the limiting case of a series of conceptions of the measurement problem which leave less and less of the observer out of the quantum description of the measuring interaction. This limiting case, however, should not be considered as one wherein nothing is left outside the description. Something is still needed besides this description: pure cognitive capacity, the subject, or, in a very abstract sense: "mind". The set of branches which arise, according to Everett, from a measuring interaction, gain a renewed signification. They do not refer to distinct "worlds", but to the points of view "mind" can identify itself to. This idea is compared and contrasted with Squires' "selection" of a branch by the mind (without quotation marks). Finally, the notion of indeterminism in quantum mechanics gains an unexpected and new light from a strict application of the previous ideas.


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Item Type: Other
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Bitbol, Michel, Guy, Simon
Keywords: Quantum mechanics, Everett, self-reference, probability, indeterminism, perpectives, situations
Subjects: General Issues > Laws of Nature
General Issues > Determinism/Indeterminism
General Issues > Realism/Anti-realism
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Mechanics
Depositing User: Michel Guy Simon Bitbol
Date Deposited: 17 Sep 2004
Last Modified: 07 Oct 2010 15:12
Item ID: 1957
Public Domain: No
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/1957

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