Metaphysical Indeterminacy, Properties, and Quantum Theory

Res Philosophica 91 (3):449-475 (2014)
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Abstract

It has frequently been suggested that quantum mechanics may provide a genuine case of ontic vagueness or metaphysical indeterminacy. However, discussions of quantum theory in the vagueness literature are often cursory and, as I shall argue, have in some respects been misguided. Hitherto much of the debate over ontic vagueness and quantum theory has centered on the “indeterminate identity” construal of ontic vagueness, and whether the quantum phenomenon of entanglement produces particles whose identity is indeterminate. I argue that this way of framing the debate is mistaken. A more thorough examination of quantum theory and the phenomenon of entanglement reveals that quantum mechanics is best interpreted as supporting what I call the “vague property” construal of ontic vagueness, where vague properties are understood in terms of determinable properties without the corresponding determinates.

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Alisa Bokulich
Boston University

Citations of this work

Quantum metaphysical indeterminacy.Claudio Calosi & Jessica Wilson - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (10):2599–2627.
Quantum indeterminacy.Claudio Calosi & Cristian Mariani - 2021 - Philosophy Compass 16 (4):e12731.
The Multi-location Trilemma.Damiano Costa & Claudio Calosi - 2022 - Erkenntnis 87 (3):1063-1079.
Quantum indeterminacy and the double-slit experiment.Claudio Calosi & Jessica Wilson - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (10):3291-3317.
Modelling Deep Indeterminacy.George Darby & Martin Pickup - 2021 - Synthese 198:1685–1710.

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References found in this work

New work for a theory of universals.David K. Lewis - 1983 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 61 (4):343-377.
Material beings.Peter Van Inwagen - 1990 - Ithaca: Cornell University Press.
The direction of time.Hans Reichenbach - 1956 - Mineola, N.Y.: Dover Publications. Edited by Maria Reichenbach.

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