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Scientific Explanation in Quantum Theory

Clifton, Rob (1998) Scientific Explanation in Quantum Theory. [Preprint]


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In this paper (which is, at best, a work in progress), I discuss different modes of scientific explanation identified by philosophers (Hempel, Salmon, Kitcher, Friedman, Hughes) and examine how well or badly they capture the "explanations" of phenomena that modern quantum theory provides. I tentatively conclude that quantum explanation is best seen as "structural explanation", and spell out in detail how this works in the case of explaining vacuum correlations. Problems and prospects for structural explanation in quantum theory are also discussed.

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Item Type: Preprint
Clifton, Rob
Keywords: explanation, causation, correlations, structure, quantum theory, vacuum
Subjects: General Issues > Explanation
Depositing User: Rob Clifton
Date Deposited: 29 Jan 2001
Last Modified: 07 Oct 2010 15:09
Item ID: 91
Subjects: General Issues > Explanation
Date: January 1998

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