Ungrounded Dispositions in Quantum Mechanics

Foundations of Science 17 (3):205-221 (2012)
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
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 24,479
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
C. B. Martin (1994). Dispositions and Conditionals. Philosophical Quarterly 44 (174):1-8.
Alexander Bird (1998). Dispositions and Antidotes. Philosophical Quarterly 48 (191):227-234.

View all 14 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2011-07-13

Total downloads

44 ( #110,316 of 1,925,752 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

3 ( #254,997 of 1,925,752 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Start a new thread
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.