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Observation and Quantum Objectivity

Healey, Richard (2012) Observation and Quantum Objectivity. [Preprint]

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    Abstract

    The paradox of Wigner's friend challenges the objectivity of description in quantum theory. A pragmatist interpretation can meet this challenge by judicious appeal to decoherence. On this interpretation, quantum theory provides situated agents with resources for predicting and explaining what happens in the physical world---not conscious observations of it. Even in Wigner's friend scenarios, differently situated agents agree on the objective content of statements about the values of physical magnitudes. In more realistic circumstances quantum Darwinism also permits differently situated agents equal observational access to evaluate their truth. In this view, quantum theory has nothing to say about consciousness or conscious experiences of observers. But it does prompt us to reexamine the significance even of everyday claims about the physical world.


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    Item Type: Preprint
    Keywords: Objectivity, quantum theory, Wigner's friend, quantum Darwinism
    Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Mechanics
    General Issues > Theory/Observation
    Depositing User: Richard Andrew Healey
    Date Deposited: 31 Jul 2012 21:43
    Last Modified: 24 Apr 2013 12:11
    Item ID: 9265
    URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/9265

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