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Summary The relational interpretation is a realist no-collapse approach to quantum mechanics defended primarily by Carlo Rovelli. It has commonalities with Everettian quantum mechanics, but instead of treating all the worlds as equally real it treats their existence as a relative matter: the only determinate facts about measurement outcomes are relative to an observer state.
Key works The relational interpretation was first set out in Rovelli 1996
Introductions Laudisa 2008
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  1. Gyula Bene & Dennis Dieks (2002). A Perspectival Version of the Modal Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics and the Origin of Macroscopic Behavior. Foundations of Physics 32 (5):645-671.
    We study the process of observation (measurement), within the framework of a “perspectival” (“relational,” “relative state”) version of the modal interpretation of quantum mechanics. We show that if we assume certain features of discreteness and determinism in the operation of the measuring device (which could be a part of the observer's nerve system), this gives rise to classical characteristics of the observed properties, in the first place to spatial localization. We investigate to what extent semi-classical behavior of the object system (...)
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  2. Michel Bitbol, Physical Relations or Functional Relations ? A Non-Metaphysical Construal of Rovelli's Relational Quantum Mechanics.
    Rovelli’s RQM is first characterized by contrast with both Everett’s and Bohr’s interpretations of quantum mechanics. Then, it is shown that a basic difficulty arises from the choice of formulating RQM in a naturalistic framework. Even though, according to Rovelli’s interpretation, statements about the world only make sense relative to certain naturalized observers described by means of quantum mechanics, this very meta-statement seems to make sense relative to a sort of super-observer which does not partake of the naturalized status of (...)
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  3. Matthew J. Brown (2014). Quantum Frames. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 45 (1):1-10.
    The framework of quantum frames can help unravel some of the interpretive difficulties i the foundation of quantum mechanics. In this paper, I begin by tracing the origins of this concept in Bohr's discussion of quantum theory and his theory of complementarity. Engaging with various interpreters and followers of Bohr, I argue that the correct account of quantum frames must be extended beyond literal space–time reference frames to frames defined by relations between a quantum system and the exosystem or external (...)
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  4. Matthew J. Brown (2009). Relational Quantum Mechanics and the Determinacy Problem. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 60 (4):679-695.
    Carlo Rovelli's relational interpretation of quantum mechanics holds that a system's states or the values of its physical quantities as normally conceived only exist relative to a cut between a system and an observer or measuring instrument. Furthermore, on Rovelli's account, the appearance of determinate observations from pure quantum superpositions happens only relative to the interaction of the system and observer. Jeffrey Barrett ([1999]) has pointed out that certain relational interpretations suffer from what we might call the ‘determinacy problem', but (...)
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  5. Michele Caponigro & Ravi Prakash (2009). Interpretations of Quantum Mechanics and Emptiness. NeuroQuantology Journal, June 2009 7 (2):198-203.
    The underlying physical reality is a central notion in the interpretations of quantum mechanics. The a priori physical reality notion affects the corresponding interpretation. This paper explore the possibility to establish a relationship between philosophical concept of physical reality in Nagarjuna's epistemology (emptiness) and the picture of underlying physical reality in Einstein, Rovelli and Zeilinger positions. This analysis brings us to conclude that the notion of property of a quantum object is untenable. We can only speak about relational property of (...)
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  6. Dennis Dieks (2009). Objectivity in Perspective: Relationism in the Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics. [REVIEW] Foundations of Physics 39 (7):760-775.
    Pekka Lahti is a prominent exponent of the renaissance of foundational studies in quantum mechanics that has taken place during the last few decades. Among other things, he and coworkers have drawn renewed attention to, and have analyzed with fresh mathematical rigor, the threat of inconsistency at the basis of quantum theory: ordinary measurement interactions, described within the mathematical formalism by Schrödinger-type equations of motion, seem to be unable to lead to the occurrence of definite measurement outcomes, whereas the same (...)
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  7. Mauro Dorato (forthcoming). Events and the Ontology of Quantum Mechanics. Topoi.
    In the first part of the paper I argue that an ontology of events is precise, flexible and general enough so as to cover the three main alternative formulations of quantum mechanics as well as theories advocating an antirealistic view of the wave function. Since these formulations advocate a primitive ontology of entities living in four-dimensional spacetime, they are good candidates to connect that quantum image with the manifest image of the world. However, to the extent that some form of (...)
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  8. Anna Marmodoro & David Yates (eds.) (forthcoming). The Metaphysics of Relations. OUP.
    A collection of papers on ancient and contemporary approaches to the nature and ontological status of relations. Forthcoming in 2015. -/- Contributors: Theodore Scaltsas, Jeffrey Brower, Sydney Penner, Maureen Donnelly, Jonathan Lowe, Peter Simons, John Heil, David Yates, Nora Berenstain, James Ladyman, Sebastian Briceno, Stephen Mumford, Michael Esfeld, Mauro Dorato.
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  9. Carlo Rovelli (1996). Relational Quantum Mechanics. International Journal of Theoretical Physics 35 (8):1637--1678.
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  10. Mathias Schüz (1986). Die Einheit des Wirklichen - Carl Friedrich v. Weizsäckers Denkweg. Neske - Klett.
  11. Andrew Soltau, Times Two: The Tenses of Linear and Collapse Dynamics in Relational Quantum Mechanics.
    The nature and topology of time remains an open question in philosophy, both tensed and tenseless concepts of time appear to have merit. A concept of time including both kinds of time evolution of physical systems in quantum mechanics subsumes the properties of both notions. The linear dynamics defines the universe probabilistically throughout space-time, and can be seen as the definition of a block universe. The collapse dynamics is the time evolution of the linear dynamics, and is thus of different (...)
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  12. Andrew Soltau, The Quantum Mechanical Frame of Reference.
    Everett demonstrates the appearance of collapse, within the context of the unitary linear dynamics. However, he does not state clearly how observers are to have determinate measurement records, hence 50 years of debate. This, however, is inherent. He defines the observer as the record of observations, which, naturally, is the record of correlations established with the physical environment. As in Rovelli's Relational Quantum Mechanics, the correlations record is the sole determinant of the effective physical environment, here the quantum mechanical frame (...)
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  13. Andrew Soltau, Universe Superposition, Relational Quantum Mechanics, and the Reality of the No-Collapse Universe.
    A perspective on Everett's relative state formulation is proposed leading to a relational quantum mechanics. There are inevitably a large number of different versions of the universe in which a specific observer could exist, and in the universe of the unitary wave function they are all existing and coincident. If these different versions of the universe are superposed the result is a universe in which the superposition of all of the identical copies sums to a single observer. The effective universe (...)
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  14. Andrew Soltau, Multisolipsism.
    A perspective on Everett's relative state formulation is proposed, leading to a simple relational quantum mechanics. There are inevitably a large number of different versions of the world in which a specific observer could exist, and in the universe of the unitary wave function they are all existing and coincident. If these different versions of the world are superposed, the effective physical environment in the functional frame of reference of this observer would be highly indeterminate, since every possible variation of (...)
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  15. W. M. Stuckey, Michael Silberstein & Michael Cifone, The Relational Blockworld Interpretation of Non-Relativistic Quantum Mechanics.
    We introduce a new interpretation of non-relativistic quantum mechanics (QM) called Relational Blockworld (RBW). We motivate the interpretation by outlining two results due to Kaiser, Bohr, Ulfeck, Mottelson, and Anandan, independently. First, the canonical commutation relations for position and momentum can be obtained from boost and translation operators,respectively, in a spacetime where the relativity of simultaneity holds. Second, the QM density operator can be obtained from the spacetime symmetry group of the experimental configuration exclusively. We show how QM, obtained from (...)
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  16. William Mark Stuckey, Michael Silbserstein & Michael Cifone (2008). Reconciling Spacetime and the Quantum: Relational Blockworld and the Quantum Liar Paradox. [REVIEW] Foundations of Physics 38 (4):348-383.
    The Relational Blockworld (RBW) interpretation of non-relativistic quantum mechanics (NRQM) is introduced. Accordingly, the spacetime of NRQM is a relational, non-separable blockworld whereby spatial distance is only defined between interacting trans-temporal objects. RBW is shown to provide a novel statistical interpretation of the wavefunction that deflates the measurement problem, as well as a geometric account of quantum entanglement and non-separability that satisfies locality per special relativity and is free of interpretative mystery. We present RBW’s acausal and adynamical resolution of the (...)
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