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Ontic structural realism and the interpretation of quantum mechanics

Esfeld, Michael (2012) Ontic structural realism and the interpretation of quantum mechanics. [Preprint]


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This paper argues that ontic structural realism (OSR) faces a dilemma: either it remains on the general level of realism with respect to the structure of a given theory, but then it is, like epistemic structural realism, only a partial realism; or it is a complete realism, but then it has to answer the question how the structure of a given theory is implemented, instantiated or realized and thus has to argue for a particular interpretation of the theory in question. This claim is illustrated by examining how OSR fares with respect to the three main candidates for an ontology of quantum mechanics, namely many worlds-type interpretations, collapse-type interpretations and hidden variable-type interpretations. The result is that OSR as such is not sufficient to answer the question of what the world is like if quantum mechanics is correct.

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Item Type: Preprint
Keywords: ontic structural realism, epistemic structural realism, scientific realism, quantum mechanics, entanglement, many worlds interpretation, Bohmian mechanics, GRW
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics
Depositing User: Michael Esfeld
Date Deposited: 14 Apr 2012 12:37
Last Modified: 14 Apr 2012 12:37
Item ID: 9091

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