Relational quantum mechanics and the determinacy problem

Carlo Rovelli's relational interpretation of quantum mechanics holds that a system's states or the values of its physical quantities as normally conceived only exist relative to a cut between a system and an observer or measuring instrument. Furthermore, on Rovelli's account, the appearance of determinate observations from pure quantum superpositions happens only relative to the interaction of the system and observer. Jeffrey Barrett ([1999]) has pointed out that certain relational interpretations suffer from what we might call the ‘determinacy problem', but Barrett misclassifies Rovelli's interpretation by lumping it in with Mermin's view, as Rovelli's view is quite different and has resources to escape the particular criticisms that Barrett makes of Mermin's view. Rovelli's interpretation still leaves us with a paradox having to do with the determinacy of measurement outcomes, which can be accepted only if we are willing to give up on certain elements of the ‘absolute’ view of the world
Keywords Relational Quantum Mechanics  Carlo Rovelli  Relationalism
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1093/bjps/axp017
 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: 24,422
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
Michael Esfeld (2004). Quantum Entanglement and a Metaphysics of Relations. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 35 (4):601-617.
John Hawthorne (2002). Causal Structuralism. In James Tomberlin (ed.), Metaphysics. Blackwell. pp. 361--78.
Alexei Grinbaum (2007). Reconstruction of Quantum Theory. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 58 (3):387 - 408.

View all 8 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Matthew J. Brown (2014). Quantum Frames. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 45:1-10.
Matthew J. Brown (2014). Quantum Frames. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 45 (1):1-10.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

150 ( #28,629 of 1,924,875 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

12 ( #67,347 of 1,924,875 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

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