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 17 (1):25 – 41 (2003)
It has been suggested that the Modal Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics (QM) is "incomplete" if it lacks a dynamics for possessed values. I argue that this is only one of two possible attitudes one might adopt toward a Modal Interpretation without dynamics. According to the other attitude, such an interpretation is a complete interpretation of QM as standardly formulated, an interpretation whose innovation is to attempt to make sense of the quantum realm without the expedient of novel physics. Then I explain why this attitude, though available, is unattractive. Without dynamics, the Modal Interpretation vanquishes the measurement problem only, it seems, to succumb to the problem of state preparation. On this view, the Modal Interpretation needs dynamics not to be an interpretation at all, but to be an adequate one. I review reasons to suspect that the dynamics which would best suit the Modal Interpretation--a dynamics equivalent to a set of two time transition probabilities of the sort used to solve the preparation problem--is not a dynamics the interpretation can have. I close with a brief discussion of versions of the Modal Interpretation that may not succumb to the considerations presented here.
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