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Profile: Louis Vervoort (Université du Québec à Montreal)
  1. Louis Vervoort, Environmental Human Rights : Urgency for a Concrete Formulation.
    In the present article, I will evaluate the utility of environmental human rights in the light of the global climate conditions prevailing in the beginning of the second decade of the 21st century. Human rights and their tools have proven useful on many occasions. Here I will promote the idea that the ecological situation we are facing now is so urgent that we should exploit their potential to the fullest. To that end, I will argue, there is a clear need (...)
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  2. Louis Vervoort, Macroscopic Oil Droplets Mimicking Quantum Behavior: How Far Can We Push an Analogy?
    We describe here a series of experimental analogies between fluid mechanics and quantum mechanics recently discovered by a team of physicists. We argue that these experimental facts put ancient theoretical work by Madelung on the analogy between fluid and quantum mechanics into new light. We place these analogies in their historic and philosophical context, relating them to the de Broglie-Bohm interpretation of quantum mechanics. Finally we point out several advantages of the ‘fluid-mechanical’ interpretation of quantum mechanics over the Bohm interpretation.
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  3. Louis Vervoort, No-Go Theorems Face Fluid-Dynamical Theories for Quantum Mechanics.
    Recent experiments on fluid-dynamical systems have revealed a series of striking quantum-like features of these macroscopic systems, thus reviving the quest to describe quantum mechanics by classical, in particular fluid-dynamical, theories. However, it is generally admitted that such an endeavor is impossible, on the basis of the 'no-go' theorems of Bell and Kochen-Specker. Here we show that such theorems are inoperative for fluid-dynamical models, even if these are local. Such models appear to violate one of the premises of both theorems, (...)
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  4. Louis Vervoort, The Concept of Probability in Physics: An Analytic Version of von Mises’ Interpretation.
    In the following we will investigate whether von Mises’ frequency interpretation of probability can be modified to make it philosophically acceptable. We will reject certain elements of von Mises’ theory, but retain others. In the interpretation we propose we do not use von Mises’ often criticized ‘infinite collectives’ but we retain two essential claims of his interpretation, stating that probability can only be defined for events that can be repeated in similar conditions, and that exhibit frequency stabilization. The central idea (...)
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  5. Louis Vervoort, The Manipulability Account of Causation Applied to Physical Systems.
    In the following we will apply the manipulability theory of causation of Woodward 2003 to physical systems, and show that, in the latter context, the theory can be simplified. Elaborating on an argument by Cartwright, we will argue that the notions of ‘modularity’ and ‘intervention’ of the cited work should be adapted for typical physical systems, in order to take coupling of system equations into account. We will show that this allows to reduce all cause types discussed in Woodward 2003 (...)
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  6. Louis Vervoort (2013). Bell's Theorem: Two Neglected Solutions. Foundations of Physics 43 (6):769-791.
    Bell’s theorem admits several interpretations or ‘solutions’, the standard interpretation being ‘indeterminism’, a next one ‘nonlocality’. In this article two further solutions are investigated, termed here ‘superdeterminism’ and ‘supercorrelation’. The former is especially interesting for philosophical reasons, if only because it is always rejected on the basis of extra-physical arguments. The latter, supercorrelation, will be studied here by investigating model systems that can mimic it, namely spin lattices. It is shown that in these systems the Bell inequality can be violated, (...)
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  7. Louis Vervoort (2013). Does Chance Hide Necessity ? A Reevaluation of the Debate ‘Determinism - Indeterminism’ in the Light of Quantum Mechanics and Probability Theory. Dissertation, University of Montreal
    In this text the ancient philosophical question of determinism (“Does every event have a cause ?”) will be re-examined. In the philosophy of science and physics communities the orthodox position states that the physical world is indeterministic: quantum events would have no causes but happen by irreducible chance. Arguably the clearest theorem that leads to this conclusion is Bell’s theorem. The commonly accepted ‘solution’ to the theorem is ‘indeterminism’, in agreement with the Copenhagen interpretation. Here it is recalled that indeterminism (...)
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  8. Louis Vervoort (2012). La Causalité Revisitée À la Lumière de la Mécanique Quantique. Dialogue 51 (4):539-561.
    The principle of causality or of determinism, and the notion of cause, are studied in the light of recent results in quantum mechanics. A definition of the concept of cause, loosely related to Lewis' counterfactual approach, is proposed. Then the question 'has every (physical) event a cause ?' is investigated. According to the orthodox quantum theory the answer to above question is negative. However, it is argued that there exist at least as many arguments in favor of a 'yes' (and (...)
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