Synthese 190 (16):3475-3494 (2013)
In this paper we deal with the problem of identity and individuality in quantum mechanics. We analyze three definitions of the concept of an individual and propose to check their merits in relation to the theory. In order to achieve our goals our approach also ties those definitions of individuality to two distinct kinds of naturalism in ontology: a strong version, according to which quantum mechanics must somehow authorize in a positive fashion the ontological concepts being dealt with, and a weak naturalism, according to which quantum mechanics must be only compatible with those ontological concepts. We conclude that strong naturalism is incompatible with the three concepts of individuality in quantum mechanics, and we argue that weak naturalism is not completely motivated, so that the best position to be assumed, in the end, is that the entities are simply not individuals. That is, in its craving to be compatible with strong naturalism, individuality ends up evaporating and we are left with non-individuals
|Keywords||Ontological naturalism Individuality Identity Quantum mechanics Non-individuals|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
References found in this work BETA
On What Grounds What.Jonathan Schaffer - 2009 - In David Manley, David J. Chalmers & Ryan Wasserman (eds.), Metametaphysics: New Essays on the Foundations of Ontology. Oxford University Press. pp. 347-383.
Identity in Physics: A Historical, Philosophical, and Formal Analysis.Steven French - 2006 - Oxford University Press.
Remodelling Structural Realism: Quantum Physics and the Metaphysics of Structure. [REVIEW]Steven French & James Ladyman - 2003 - Synthese 136 (1):31-56.
Citations of this work BETA
From Primitive Identity to the Non-Individuality of Quantum Objects.Jonas Becker Arenhart & Décio Krause - 2014 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 46 (2):273-282.
A Formal Framework for the Study of the Notion of Undefined Particle Number in Quantum Mechanics.Newton C. A. Da Costa & Federico Holik - 2015 - Synthese 192 (2):505-523.
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