David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 100 (1):247-269 (2000)
This paper considers the possibility that nonrelativistic quantum mechanics tells us that Nature cares about time reversal. In a classical world we have a fundamentally reversible world that appears irreversible at higher levels, e.g., the thermodynamic level. But in a quantum world we see, if I am correct, a fundamentally irreversible world that appears reversible at higher levels, e.g., the level of classical mechanics. I consider two related symmetries, time reversal invariance and what I call ‘Wigner reversal invariance.’ Violation of the first is interesting, for not only would it fly in the face of the usual story about temporal symmetry, but it also appears to imply (as I’ll explain) that time is ‘handed’, or as some have misleadingly said in the literature, ‘anisotropic’. Violation of the second is, as I hope to show, even more interesting. The paper also contains a discussion of two mostly neglected topics: what it means to say time is handed and what warrants such an attribution to time.
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Jill North (2008). Two Views on Time Reversal. Philosophy of Science 75 (2):201-223.
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Jan Hilgevoord & David Atkinson (2011). Time in Quantum Mechanics. In Craig Callender (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Time. Oup Oxford.
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Craig Callender (2000). XII: Is Time 'Handed' in a Quantum World? Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 100 (3):247–269.
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