Aspects of Quantum Non-Locality I: Superluminal Signalling, Action-at-a-Distance, Non-Separability and Holism

Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 29 (2):183-222 (1998)
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Abstract

In this paper and its sequel, I consider the significance of Jarrett’s and Shimony’s analyses of the so-called factorisability condition for clarifying the nature of quantum non-locality. In this paper, I focus on four types of non-locality: superluminal signalling, action-at-a-distance, non-separability and holism. In the second paper, I consider a fifth type of non-locality: superluminal causation according to ‘logically weak’ concepts of causation, where causal dependence requires neither action nor signalling. In this connection, I pay special attention to the difficulties that superluminal causation raises in relativistic space–time. I conclude by evaluating the relevance of Jarrett’s and Shimony’s analyses for clarifying the question of the compatibility of quantum non-locality with relativity theory. My main conclusions are, first: these analyses are significant for clarifying the questions of superluminal signalling in quantum phenomena and for the compatibility of these phenomena with relativity. But, second, by contrast: these analyses are not very significant for the study of action-at-a distance, superluminal causation, non-separability and holism in quantum phenomena

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Joseph Berkovitz
University of Toronto, St. George

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