Noûs 51 (1):74-94 (2017)

Authors
Zee R. Perry
Rutgers University - New Brunswick
Harjit Bhogal
University of Maryland, College Park
Abstract
Tim Maudlin has influentially argued that Humeanism about laws of nature stands in conflict with quantum mechanics. Specifically Humeanism implies the principle Separability: the complete physical state of a world is determined by the intrinsic physical state of each space-time point. Maudlin argues Separability is violated by the entangled states posited by QM. We argue that Maudlin only establishes that a stronger principle, which we call Strong Separability, is in tension with QM. Separability is not in tension with QM. Moreover, while the Humean requires Separability to capture the core tenets of her view, there's no Humean-specific motivation for accepting Strong Separability. We go on to give a Humean account of entangled states which satisfies Separability. The core idea is that certain quantum states depend upon the Humean mosaic in much the same way as the laws do. In fact, we offer a variant of the Best System account on which the systemization procedure that generates the laws also serves to ground these states. We show how this account works by applying it to the example of Bohmian Mechanics. The 3N-dimensional configuration space, the world particle in it and the wave function on it are part of the best system of the Humean mosaic, which consists of N particles moving in 3-dimensional space. We argue that this account is superior to the Humean account of Bohmian Mechanics defended by Loewer and Albert, which takes the 3N-dimensional space, and its inhabitants, as fundamental.
Keywords Entanglement  Bohmian Mechanics  Humeanism  Best Systems Account  Laws of Nature
Categories (categorize this paper)
Reprint years 2017
DOI 10.1111/nous.12095
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Upload history
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

New Work for a Theory of Universals.David Lewis - 1983 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 61 (4):343-377.
The Ontology of Bohmian Mechanics.M. Esfeld, D. Lazarovici, Mario Hubert & D. Durr - 2014 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 65 (4):773-796.
Humean Supervenience.Barry Loewer - 1996 - Philosophical Topics 24 (1):101-127.
The Nature of Laws.Michael Tooley - 1977 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 7 (4):667-98.
Elementary Quantum Metaphysics.David Albert - 1996 - In J. T. Cushing, Arthur Fine & Sheldon Goldstein (eds.), Bohmian Mechanics and Quantum theory: An Appraisal. Kluwer Academic Publishers. pp. 277-284.

View all 10 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Humeanism About Laws of Nature.Harjit Bhogal - forthcoming - Philosophy Compass.
Non‐Humean Theories of Natural Necessity.Tyler Hildebrand - 2020 - Philosophy Compass 15 (5):1-1.
Realism About the Wave Function.Eddy Chen - 2019 - Philosophy Compass 14 (7).
Towards a Best Predictive System Account of Laws of Nature.Chris Dorst - 2019 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 70 (3):877-900.

View all 39 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Quantum Entanglement, Bohmian Mechanics, and Humean Supervenience.Elizabeth Miller - 2014 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 92 (3):567-583.
No Metaphysics Within Physics?Elizabeth Louise Miller - 2014 - Dissertation, Harvard University
Laws of Nature: Meeting the Empiricist Challenge.John Thomas Roberts - 1999 - Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh
The Ontology of Bohmian Mechanics.M. Esfeld, D. Lazarovici, Mario Hubert & D. Durr - 2014 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 65 (4):773-796.
Humean Laws and Explanation.Dan Marshall - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (12):3145-3165.
Briggs on Antirealist Accounts of Scientific Law.John Halpin - 2013 - Synthese 190 (16):3439–3449.
Humean Scientific Explanation.Elizabeth Miller - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (5):1311-1332.
Affective Deliberation: Toward a Humean Account of Practical Reasons.Stephanie Beardman - 2000 - Dissertation, Rutgers the State University of New Jersey - New Brunswick
Laws, Explanation, Governing, and Generation.Barry Ward - 2007 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 85 (4):537 – 552.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2015-06-15

Total views
671 ( #6,672 of 2,329,902 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
102 ( #4,674 of 2,329,902 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes