David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 9 (3):225 – 234 (1995)
Abstract Quantum mechanics has seemed to defy all attempts to construe it realistically, but antirealism, like the many?worlds hypothesis, is even more difficult to accept. In order to give a realist construal of quantum mechanics, we need first to distinguish the objective and rational aspect of reality from the paradigmatic thing?like aspects of having determinate physical properties: quantum?mechanical entities may be real in the former sense though not in the latter. Anti?realist arguments are based on the difficulty of giving an account of quantum?mechanical collapse and the apparent superluminal velocities involved. Objections to superluminal velocities on the score of the special theory of relativity are found not to be conclusive, and the price?there being some preferred frame of reference?to be acceptable. A sketch of a probabilistic account of quantum?mechanical collapse is offered, which makes the difference between the macro? and the micro?world a matter of degree rather than kind. If that, or some other, account proved acceptable, we could be quantum?mechanical realists, though quantum?mechanical reality would be very different from that of material objects in hardware shops
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