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Quantum Mechanics on Spacetime I: Spacetime State Realism

Wallace, David and Timpson, Christopher Gordon (2009) Quantum Mechanics on Spacetime I: Spacetime State Realism. [Preprint]

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    Abstract

    What ontology does realism about the quantum state suggest? The main extant view in contemporary philosophy of physics is wave-function realism. We elaborate the sense in which wave-function realism does provide an ontological picture; and defend it from certain objections that have been raised against it. However, there are good reasons to be dissatisfied with wave-function realism, as we go on to elaborate. This motivates the development of an opposing picture: what we call spacetime state realism; a view which takes the states associated to spacetime regions as fundamental. This approach enjoys a number of beneficial features, although, unlike wave-function realism, it involves non-separability at the level of fundamental ontology. We investigate the pros and cons of this non-separability, arguing that it is a quite acceptable feature; even one which proves fruitful in the context of relativistic covariance. A companion paper discusses the prospects for combining a spacetime-based ontology with separability, along lines suggested by Deutsch and Hayden


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    Item Type: Preprint
    Additional Information: Forthcoming in the British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    Keywords: spacetime state realism, wave-function realism, quantum ontology, non-separability, narratability
    Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Fields and Particles
    Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Mechanics
    Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Field Theory
    Depositing User: Christopher Gordon Timpson
    Date Deposited: 13 May 2009
    Last Modified: 07 Oct 2010 11:17
    Item ID: 4621
    URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/4621

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