Van Fraassen on preparation and measurement

Philosophy of Science 63 (3):346 (1996)
Van Fraassen's 1991 modal interpretation of Quantum Mechanics offers accounts of measurement and state preparation. I argue that both accounts overlook a class of interactions I call General Unitary Measurements, or GUMs. Ironically, GUMs are significant for van Fraassen's account of measurement because they challenge it, and significant for his account of preparation because they simplify it. Van Fraassen's oversight prompts a question about modal interpretations: developed to account for ideal measurement outcomes, can they consistently account as well for the whole horizon of laboratory practices by which we investigate QM?
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DOI 10.1086/289969
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