Quantum indeterminacy and the double-slit experiment

Philosophical Studies 178 (10):3291-3317 (2021)
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Abstract

In Calosi and Wilson (Phil Studies 2019/2018), we argue that on many interpretations of quantum mechanics (QM), there is quantum mechanical indeterminacy (QMI), and that a determinable-based account of metaphysical indeterminacy (MI), as per Wilson 2013 and 2016, properly accommodates the full range of cases of QMI. Here we argue that this approach is superior to other treatments of QMI on offer, both realistic and deflationary, in providing the basis for an intelligible explanation of the interference patterns in the double-slit experiment. We start with a brief overview of the motivations for QMI and for a determinable-based account of MI (§1). We then apply a developed 'glutty' implementation of determinable-based QMI to the superposition-based QMI present in the double-slit experiment, and positively compare the associated explanation of double-slit interference with that available on a metaphysical supervaluationist account of QMI (§2). We then present and respond to objections, due to Glick (2017) and Torza (2017), either to QMI (§3) or to our specific account of QMI (§4); in these sections we also positively compare our treatment of double-slit interference to that available on Glick's deflationary treatment of QMI. We conclude with some dialectical observations (§5).

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Author Profiles

Jessica M. Wilson
University of Toronto at Scarborough

References found in this work

Vagueness.Timothy Williamson - 1996 - New York: Routledge.
On the Plurality of Worlds.David Lewis - 1986 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 178 (3):388-390.

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