Ungrounded Dispositions in Quantum Mechanics

Foundations of Science 17 (3):205-221 (2012)
Authors
Tomasz Bigaj
University of Warsaw
Abstract
General metaphysical arguments have been proposed in favour of the thesis that all dispositions have categorical bases (Armstrong; Prior, Pargetter, Jackson). These arguments have been countered by equally general arguments in support of ungrounded dispositions (Molnar, Mumford). I believe that this controversy cannot be settled purely on the level of abstract metaphysical considerations. Instead, I propose to look for ungrounded dispositions in specific physical theories, such as quantum mechanics. I explain why non-classical properties such as spin are best interpreted as irreducible dispositional properties, and I give reasons why even seemingly classical properties, for instance position or momentum, should receive a similar treatment when interpreted in the quantum realm. Contrary to the conventional wisdom, I argue that quantum dispositions should not be limited to probabilistic dispositions (propensities) by showing reasons why even possession of well-defined values of parameters should qualify as a dispositional property. I finally discuss the issue of the actuality of quantum dispositions, arguing that it may be justified to treat them as potentialities whose being has a lesser degree of reality than that of classical categorical properties, due to the incompatibility relations between non-commuting observables
Keywords Dispositions  Grounding  Quantum mechanics  Incompatibility
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s10699-011-9232-0
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 34,373
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Scientific Essentialism.Brian Ellis - 2007 - Cambridge University Press.
Nature’s Metaphysics.Alexander Bird - 2007 - Oxford University Press.
Powers: A Study in Metaphysics.George Molnar - 2003 - Oxford University Press.
Dispositions and Conditionals.C. B. Martin - 1994 - Philosophical Quarterly 44 (174):1-8.

View all 18 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Dispositions in Physics.Andreas Hüttemann - 2009 - In Gregor Damschen, Robert Schnepf & Karsten Stueber (eds.), Debating Dispositions. De Gruyter. pp. 221-237.
Dispositions and the Argument From Science.Neil E. Williams - 2011 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 89 (1):71 - 90.
Reply to Armstrong on Dispositions.James Franklin - 1988 - Philosophical Quarterly 38 (150):86-87.
Are Physical Properties Dispositions?Edward Wilson Averill - 1990 - Philosophy of Science 57 (1):118-132.
A Case for Extrinsic Dispositions.J. McKitrick - 2003 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 81 (2):155 – 174.
The Bare Metaphysical Possibility of Bare Dispositions.Jennifer McKitrick - 2003 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 66 (2):349–369.
Real Dispositions in the Physical World.Ian J. Thompson - 1988 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 39 (1):67-79.
Unfinkable Dispositions.Toby Handfield - 2008 - Synthese 160 (2):297 - 308.
The Ontology of Pure Dispositions.William A. Bauer - 2010 - Dissertation, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Analytics

Added to PP index
2011-07-13

Total downloads
53 ( #116,894 of 2,266,754 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
5 ( #82,676 of 2,266,754 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature