Bell’s Theorem: What It Takes

British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 43 (1):41-83 (1992)
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I compare deterministic and stochastic hidden variable models of the Bell experiment, exphasising philosophical distinctions between the various ways of combining conditionals and probabilities. I make four main claims. (1) Under natural assumptions, locality as it occurs in these models is equivalent to causal independence, as analysed (in the spirit of Lewis) in terms of probabilities and conditionals. (2) Stochastic models are indeed more general than deterministic ones. (3) For factorizable stochastic models, relativity's lack of superluminal causation does not favour locality over completeness. (4) If we prohibit all superluminal causation, then the violation of the Bell inequality teaches us a lesson, besides quantum mechanics' familiar ones that quantities can lack precise values and that pairs of quantities can lack joint probabilities: namely, some pairs of events are not screened off by their common past.



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Jeremy Butterfield
Cambridge University

Citations of this work

Stochastic Einstein Locality Revisited.Jeremy Butterfield - 2007 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 58 (4):805-867.
David Lewis meets John bell.Jeremy Butterfield - 1992 - Philosophy of Science 59 (1):26-43.

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References found in this work

The Scientific Image.William Demopoulos & Bas C. van Fraassen - 1982 - Philosophical Review 91 (4):603.
Events and processes in the quantum world.Abner Shimony - 1986 - In Roger Penrose & C. J. Isham (eds.), Quantum Concepts in Space and Time. New York ;Oxford University Press. pp. 182--203.
On Raising the Chances of Effects.D. H. Mellor - 1988 - In J. H. Fetzer (ed.), Probability and Causality. D. Reidel. pp. 229-239.

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