David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Philosophy of Science 72 (1):114-127 (2005)
This paper tries to get a grip on two seemingly conflicting intuitions about reductionism in quantum mechanics. On the one hand it is received wisdom that quantum mechanics puts an end to ‘reductionism’. Quantum-entanglement is responsible for such features of quantum mechanics as holism, the failure of supervenience and emergence. While I agree with these claims I will argue that it is only part of the story. Quantum mechanics provides us with thorough-going reductionist explanations. I will distinguish two kinds of micro-explanation (or micro-‘reduction’). I will argue that even though quantum-entanglement provides an example for the failure of one kind of micro-explanation it does not affect the other. Contrary to a recent paper by Kronz and Tiehen I claim that the explanation of the dynamics of quantum mechanical systems is just as reductionist as it used to be in classical mechanics.
|Keywords||Explanation Emergence quantum-entanglement|
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Citations of this work BETA
Andreas Hüttemann (2014). Ceteris Paribus Laws in Physics. Erkenntnis 79 (10):1715-1728.
Gil C. Santos (2015). Ontological Emergence: How is That Possible? Towards a New Relational Ontology. Foundations of Science 20 (4):429-446.
Meinard Kuhlmann & Stuart Glennan (2014). On the Relation Between Quantum Mechanical and Neo-Mechanistic Ontologies and Explanatory Strategies. European Journal for Philosophy of Science 4 (3):337-359.
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