David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 35 (4):693-712 (2004)
Motivated by the question what it is that makes quantum mechanics a holistic theory, I try to define for general physical theories what we mean by `holism'. For this purpose I propose an epistemological criterion to decide whether or not a physical theory is holistic, namely: a physical theory is holistic if and only if it is impossible in principle to infer the global properties, as assigned in the theory, by local resources available to an agent. I propose that these resources include at least all local operations and classical communication. This approach is contrasted with the well-known approaches to holism in terms of supervenience. The criterion for holism proposed here involves a shift in emphasis from ontology to epistemology. I apply this epistemological criterion to classical physics and Bohmian mechanics as represented on a phase and configuration space respectively, and for quantum mechanics using the formalism of general quantum operations as completely positive trace non-increasing maps. Furthermore, I provide an interesting example from which one can conclude that quantum mechanics is holistic in the above mentioned sense, although, perhaps surprisingly, no entanglement is needed
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References found in this work BETA
Paul Teller (1986). Relational Holism and Quantum Mechanics. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 37 (1):71-81.
Richard A. Healey (1991). Holism and Nonseparability. Journal of Philosophy 88 (8):393-421.
Don Howard (1989). Holism, Separability, and the Metaphysical Implications of the Bell Experiments. In James T. Cushing & Ernan McMullin (eds.), Philosophical Consequences of Quantum Theory. University of Notre Dame Press 224--253.
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Citations of this work BETA
Thomas Durt (2010). Anthropomorphic Quantum Darwinism as an Explanation for Classicality. Foundations of Science 15 (2):177-197.
Michel Bitbol (2012). Downward Causation Without Foundations. Synthese 185 (2):233-255.
Aristidis Arageorgis (2013). Holism and Nonseparability by Analogy. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 44 (3):206-214.
Dean Rickles, Chris Smeenk, Holger Lyre & Richard Healey (2009). Gauge Pressure. Metascience 18 (1):5-41.
Thomas Durt (2010). Experimental Proposal for Testing the Emergence of Environment Induced (EIN) Classical Selection Rules with Biological Systems. Studia Logica 95 (1/2):259 - 277.
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