David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Foundations of Physics 38 (10):923-934 (2008)
Saunders has recently claimed that “identical quantum particles” with an anti-symmetric state (fermions) are weakly discernible objects, just like irreflexively related ordinary objects in situations with perfect symmetry (Black’s spheres, for example). Weakly discernible objects have all their qualitative properties in common but nevertheless differ from each other by virtue of (a generalized version of) Leibniz’s principle, since they stand in relations an entity cannot have to itself. This notion of weak discernibility has been criticized as question begging, but we defend and accept it for classical cases likes Black’s spheres. We argue, however, that the quantum mechanical case is different. Here the application of the notion of weak discernibility indeed is question begging and in conflict with standard interpretational ideas. We conclude that the introduction of the conceptual resource of weak discernibility does not change the interpretational status quo in quantum mechanics
|Keywords||Identical particles Weak discernibility Leibniz’s principle Structuralism|
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Citations of this work BETA
Mauro Dorato & Matteo Morganti (2013). Grades of Individuality. A Pluralistic View of Identity in Quantum Mechanics and in the Sciences. Philosophical Studies 163 (3):591-610.
Peter Ainsworth (2011). Ontic Structural Realism and the Principle of the Identity of Indiscernibles. Erkenntnis 75 (1):67-84.
Diederik Aerts (2009). Quantum Particles as Conceptual Entities: A Possible Explanatory Framework for Quantum Theory. [REVIEW] Foundations of Science 14 (4):361-411.
Øystein Linnebo & F. A. Muller (2013). On Witness-Discernibility of Elementary Particles. Erkenntnis 78 (5):1133-1142.
Stathis Livadas (2012). The Expressional Limits of Formal Language in the Notion of Quantum Observation. Axiomathes 22 (1):147-169.
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