Weak Discernibility in Quantum Mechanics: Does It Save PII?

Axiomathes 23 (3):461-484 (2013)

Jonas R. B. Arenhart
Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina
The Weak Principle of the Identity of Indiscernibles (weak PII), states that numerically distinct items must be discernible by a symmetrical and irreflexive relation. Recently, some authors have proposed that weak PII holds in non relativistic quantum mechanics, contradicting a long tradition claiming PII to be simply false in that theory. The question that arises then is: are relations allowed in the scope of PII? In this paper, we propose that quantum mechanics does not help us in deciding matters concerning that problem, since that is a metaphysical problem rather than a quantum mechanical one. We argue further that weak PII is unmotivated on metaphysical grounds. We examine three metaphysical theses (bundle theory, counting, empiricism) that may provide reasons for one to sustain PII, and we conclude that weak PII gets no independent motivation from them
Keywords Identity of Indiscernibles  Naturalized metaphysics  Bundle theory  Counting  Empiricism
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DOI 10.1007/s10516-012-9188-x
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References found in this work BETA

Are Quantum Particles Objects?Simon Saunders - 2006 - Analysis 66 (1):52-63.
Discerning Fermions.Simon Saunders & F. A. Muller - 2008 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 59 (3):499 - 548.
Physics and Leibniz's Principles.Simon Saunders - 2003 - In Katherine Brading & Elena Castellani (eds.), Symmetries in Physics: Philosophical Reflections. Cambridge University Press. pp. 289--307.

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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.

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