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Against the 'no-go' philosophy of quantum mechanics

Laudisa, Federico (2014) Against the 'no-go' philosophy of quantum mechanics. European Journal for Philosophy of Science, 4 (1). pp. 1-17. ISSN 1879-4912

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In the area of the foundations of quantummechanics a true industry appears to
have developed in the last decades, with the aim of proving as many results as possible
concerning what there cannot be in the quantum realm. In principle, the significance of
proving ‘no-go’ results should consist in clarifying the fundamental structure of the
theory, by pointing out a class of basic constraints that the theory itself is supposed to
satisfy. In the present paper I will discuss some more recent no-go claims and I will argue
against the deep significance of these results, with a two-fold strategy. First, I will
consider three results concerning respectively local realism, quantum covariance and
predictive power in quantum mechanics, and I will try to show how controversial the
main conditions of the negative theorem turn out to be—something that strongly
undermines the general relevance of these theorems. Second, I will try to discuss what
I take to be a common feature of these theoretical enterprises, namely that of aiming at
establishing negative results for quantum mechanics in absence of a deeper understanding
of the overall ontological content and structure of the theory. I will argue that the only
way toward such an understanding may be to cast in advance the problems in a clear and
well-defined interpretational framework—which in my viewmeans primarily to specify
the ontology that quantum theory is supposed to be about—and after to wonder whether
problems that seemed worth pursuing still are so in the framework.

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Item Type: Published Article or Volume
Keywords: Quantum mechanics; No-go theorems; Non-locality; Quantum Covariance; Completeness; Non-local Realism
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Mechanics
Depositing User: Prof. Federico Laudisa
Date Deposited: 26 Jan 2014 13:15
Last Modified: 26 Jan 2014 13:15
Item ID: 10241
Journal or Publication Title: European Journal for Philosophy of Science
Publisher: Springer
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.1007/s13194-013-0071-4
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Mechanics
Date: 2014
Page Range: pp. 1-17
Volume: 4
Number: 1
ISSN: 1879-4912

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