David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Although quantum mechanics has significantly advanced our understanding of the physical world, it has also been a source of great confusion. Myriad interpretations, and interpretations of interpretations, have been proposed to try and explain away the seeming inconsistencies which lie at the heart of quantum mechanics. All of these attempts at interpretation center on the seemingly intractable measurement problem. In this essay I argue that a number of interpretations of quantum mechanics are plagued by inadequate and misleading assumptions about the observer. These assumptions are based on a naïve “folk conception” of the observer. In discussing two phenomena studied in modern cognitive science, I will argue for a rejection of the naïve conception of the observer and adopt a more sophisticated view which offers a significant interpretational payoff. I argue that although the measurement problem in quantum mechanics appears to be a scientific problem requiring a scientific solution, it is plausible that the problem might be a pseudo-problem resulting from a conceptual confusion. The conceptual confusion is caused by naïve assumptions about the nature of the observer.1 Based on these arguments I will reevaluate a number of interpretations and assess the role of philosophy in interpreting quantum mechanics.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library||
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Pieter E. Vermaas (1999). A Philosopher's Understanding of Quantum Mechanics: Possibilities and Impossibilities of a Modal Interpretation. Cambridge University Press.
Nicholas Maxwell (1976). Towards a Micro Realistic Version of Quantum Mechanics, Part I. Foundations of Physics 6 (3):275-292.
Pieter E. Vermaas (2005). Technology and the Conditions on Interpretations of Quantum Mechanics. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 56 (4):635-661.
Nicholas Maxwell (1975). Does the Minimal Statistical Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics Resolve the Measurement Problem? Methodology and Science 8:84-101.
Matthew J. Brown (2009). Relational Quantum Mechanics and the Determinacy Problem. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 60 (4):679-695.
Hilary Putnam (2005). A Philosopher Looks at Quantum Mechanics (Again). British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 56 (4):615-634.
Valia Allori & Nino Zanghi (2008). On the Classical Limit of Quantum Mechanics. Foundations of Physics 10.1007/S10701-008-9259-4 39 (1):20-32.
Joseph Berkovitz & Meir Hemmo (2005). Modal Interpretations of Quantum Mechanics and Relativity: A Reconsideration. [REVIEW] Foundations of Physics 35 (3):373-397.
Rodolfo Gambini, Luis Pedro García-Pintos & Jorge Pullin (2011). An Axiomatic Formulation of the Montevideo Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 42 (4):256-263.
Michele Caponigro & Ravi Prakash (2009). Interpretations of Quantum Mechanics and Emptiness. NeuroQuantology Journal, June 2009 7 (2):198-203.
Thomas Boyer, Coexistence of Several Interpretations of Quantum Mechanics and the Fruitfulness of Scientific Works.
C. Lehner (1997). What It Feels Like to Be in a Superposition, and Why: Consciousness and the Interpretation of Everett's Quantum Mechanics. Synthese 110 (2):191-216.
A. A. Pechenkin (2002). Mandelstam's Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics in Comparative Perspective. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 16 (3):265 – 284.
Added to index2010-12-22
Total downloads61 ( #30,976 of 1,681,623 )
Recent downloads (6 months)19 ( #11,881 of 1,681,623 )
How can I increase my downloads?