Can classical structures explain quantum phenomena?

In semiclassical mechanics one finds explanations of quantum phenomena that appeal to classical structures. These explanations are prima facie problematic insofar as the classical structures they appeal to do not exist. Here I defend the view that fictional structures can be genuinely explanatory by introducing a model-based account of scientific explanation. Applying this framework to the semiclassical phenomenon of wavefunction scarring, I argue that not only can the fictional classical trajectories explain certain aspects of this quantum phenomenon, but also that an explanation that does not make reference to these classical structures is, in a certain sense, deficient. Introduction The Case of Wavefunction Scarring Model Explanations, or How Fictional Structures Can Explain Putting Understanding Back into Explanation CiteULike Connotea What's this?
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DOI 10.1093/bjps/axn004
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Otávio Bueno & Steven French (2012). Can Mathematics Explain Physical Phenomena? British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 63 (1):85-113.

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