Allori, Valia
(2023)
What if We Lived in the Best of All Possible (Quantum) Worlds?
[Preprint]
Abstract
For scientific realists, quantum mechanics is unsatisfactory because it suffers from the measurement problem. However,
there are at least three promising solutions: the pilotwave theory, the manyworlds theory, and the theory of spontaneous
collapse. In this paper I argue that the measurement problem is a false problem for the realist: it was proposed as the last
resort to convince the positivists that the theory is not empirically adequate. Instead realists should focus on preserving the
reductive explanatory schema that had worked so well in physics before, which requires a theory to have a threedimensional ontology. Incompleteness argument to this effect have been proposed in the 1920s, but effectively ignored due to the
positivistic climate, other unscientific reasons, and theorems which claimed that this project was impossible. When realists
reexamined quantum mechanics in the 1950s and later, they happened to focus on the measurement problem. In this paper I
speculate on what would have happened if realists instead focused on finding a threedimensional ontology to complete
quantum theory. I show that most paradoxes, puzzles and mysteries connected with quantum mechanics would have never
emerge, and that many of what are now considered possible ontological interpretations of the theory would have hardly
been taken as viable options.
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