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  1. Wavefunction Reality, Indeterminate Properties and Degrees of Presence.Fedor Herbut - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 44 (3):182-190.
    The degree-of-presence concept, accompanying that of the wavefunction-reality postulate, is introduced and studied in two ways. To begin with, an incomplete exposition of the present author's views is given. Subsequently, a short historical and philosophical review of answers to the question about the meaning of indeterminate individual-system probabilities is presented from the literature. It is done in the form of a carefully selected collage of quotations mostly with polemic comments by the present author and with further elaboration of his point (...)
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  • Individuality and the Account of Nonlocality: The Case for the Particle Ontology in Quantum Physics.Michael Esfeld - 2019 - In O. Lombardi, S. Fortin, C. L’Opez & F. Holik (eds.), Quantum Worlds: Perspectives on the Ontology of Quantum Mechanics. Cambridge University Press. pp. 222--244.
    The paper explains why an ontology of permanent point particles that are individuated by their relative positions and that move on continuous trajectories as given by a deterministic law of motion constitutes the best solution to the measurement problem in both quantum mechanics and quantum field theory. This case is made by comparing the Bohmian theory to collapse theories such as the GRW matter density and the GRW flash theory. It is argued that the Bohmian theory makes the minimal changes, (...)
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  • From the Measurement Problem to the Primitive Ontology Programme.Michael Esfeld - unknown
    The paper retraces the development from the measurement problem to the primitive ontology programme. It assesses the contribution of the GRW theory to this programme and discusses the pros and cons of the GRWm matter density ontology and the GRWf flash ontology in comparison to the Bohmian particle ontology. It thereby pursues the evaluation of the proposals for a primitive ontology of quantum physics.
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  • Open Problems in Relational Quantum Mechanics.Federico Laudisa - 2019 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 50 (2):215-230.
    The Rovelli relational interpretation of quantum mechanics is based on the assumption that the notion of observer-independent state of a physical system is to be rejected. In RQM the primary target of the theory is the analysis of the whole network of relations that may be established among quantum subsystems, and the shift to a relational perspective is supposed to address in a satisfactory way the general problem of the interpretation of quantum mechanics. Here I discuss two basic issues, that (...)
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  • Counterfactual Reasoning, Realism and Quantum Mechanics: Much Ado About Nothing?Federico Laudisa - 2017 - Erkenntnis:1-16.
    I show why old and new claims on the role of counterfactual reasoning for the EPR argument and Bell’s theorem are unjustified: once the logical relation between locality and counterfactual reasoning is clarified, the use of the latter does no harm and the nonlocality result can well follow from the EPR premises. To show why, after emphasizing the role of incompleteness arguments that Einstein developed before the EPR paper, I critically review more recent claims that equate the use of counterfactual (...)
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  • Bell on Bell's Theorem: The Changing Face of Nonlocality.Harvey R. Brown & Christopher Gordon Timpson - unknown
    Between 1964 and 1990, the notion of nonlocality in Bell's papers underwent a profound change as his nonlocality theorem gradually became detached from quantum mechanics, and referred to wider probabilistic theories involving correlations between separated beables. The proposition that standard quantum mechanics is itself nonlocal became divorced from the Bell theorem per se from 1976 on, although this important point is widely overlooked in the literature. In 1990, the year of his death, Bell would express serious misgivings about the mathematical (...)
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  • The Reality of Relations: The Case From Quantum Physics.Michael Esfeld - unknown
    As far as classical physics is concerned, it is possible to trace causal relations between physical objects back to intrinsic properties of these objects. On this view, causal relations turn out to be internal instead of external relations, supervening on intrinsic properties of the relata. However, one can raise doubts about this view already in Newtonian mechanics. The decisive blow to this view comes from quantum physics, with Bell’s theorem proving that no dynamics based on local, intrinsic properties of quantum (...)
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  • On the Physical Explanation for Quantum Computational Speedup.Michael E. Cuffaro - 2013 - Dissertation, The University of Western Ontario
    The aim of this dissertation is to clarify the debate over the explanation of quantum speedup and to submit, for the reader's consideration, a tentative resolution to it. In particular, I argue, in this dissertation, that the physical explanation for quantum speedup is precisely the fact that the phenomenon of quantum entanglement enables a quantum computer to fully exploit the representational capacity of Hilbert space. This is impossible for classical systems, joint states of which must always be representable as product (...)
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  • Non-Local Common Cause Explanations for EPR.Matthias Egg & Michael Esfeld - 2014 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 4 (2):181-196.
    The paper argues that a causal explanation of the correlated outcomes of EPR-type experiments is desirable and possible. It shows how Bohmian mechanics and the GRW mass density theory offer such an explanation in terms of a non-local common cause.
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  • How to Account for Quantum Non-Locality: Ontic Structural Realism and the Primitive Ontology of Quantum Physics.Michael Esfeld - 2017 - Synthese 194 (7):2329-2344.
    The paper has two aims: (1) it sets out to show that it is well motivated to seek for an account of quantum non-locality in the framework of ontic structural realism (OSR), which integrates the notions of holism and non-separability that have been employed since the 1980s to achieve such an account. However, recent research shows that OSR on its own cannot provide such an account. Against this background, the paper argues that by applying OSR to the primitive ontology theories (...)
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  • The Primitive Ontology of Quantum Physics: Guidelines for an Assessment of the Proposals.Michael Esfeld - 2014 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 47:99-106.
    The paper seeks to make progress from stating primitive ontology theories of quantum physics – notably Bohmian mechanics, the GRW matter density theory and the GRW flash theory – to assessing these theories. Four criteria are set out: internal coherence; empirical adequacy; relationship to other theories; explanatory value. The paper argues that the stock objections against these theories do not withstand scrutiny. Its focus then is on their explanatory value: they pursue different strategies to ground the textbook formalism of quantum (...)
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  • Physics and Intrinsic Properties.Michael Esfeld - 2013 - In Robert M. Francescotti (ed.), Companion to Intrinsic Properties. De Gruyter. pp. 253-270.
    The paper sketches out an ontology of physics in terms of matter being primitive stuff distributed in space and all the properties physics is committed to being dispositions that fix the temporal development of the distribution of matter in space. Whereas such properties can be conceived as intrinsic properties of particles in classical mechanics, in quantum physics, there is a holistic property or structure that relates all matter and that fixes its temporal development.
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  • Metaphysics of Science as Naturalized Metaphysics.Michael Esfeld - 2018 - In Anouk Barberousse, Denis Bonnay & Mikael Cozic (eds.), The philosophy of science. A companion. Oxford, U.K.: Oxford University Press. pp. 142-170.
    This chapter outlines a metaphysics of science in the sense of a naturalized metaphysics. It considers in the first place the interplay of physics and metaphysics in Newtonian mechanics, then goes into the issues for the metaphysics of time that relativity physics raises, shows that what one considers as the referent of quantum theory depends on metaphysical considerations and finally explains how the stance that one takes with respect to objective modality and laws of nature shapes the options that are (...)
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  • Happiest Thoughts: Great Thought Experiments of Modern Physics.Kent A. Peacock - unknown
    This is a review of those key thought experiments in physics from the late 19th century onward that seem to have played a particular role in the process of the discovery or advancement of theory. Among others the paper discusses Maxwell's demon, several of Einstein's thought experiments in relativity, Heisenberg's microscope, the Einstein-Schrödinger cat, and the EPR thought experiment.
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  • What is a Wavefunction?Wayne C. Myrvold - 2015 - Synthese 192 (10):3247-3274.
    Much of the the discussion of the metaphysics of quantum mechanics focusses on the status of wavefunctions. This paper is about how to think about wavefunctions, when we bear in mind that quantum mechanics—that is, the nonrelativistic quantum theory of systems of a fixed, finite number of degrees of freedom—is not a fundamental theory, but arises, in a certain approximation, valid in a limited regime, from a relativistic quantum field theory. We will explicitly show how the wavefunctions of quantum mechanics, (...)
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