Realism about the wave function

Philosophy Compass 14 (7):e12611 (2019)
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Abstract

A century after the discovery of quantum mechanics, the meaning of quantum mechanics still remains elusive. This is largely due to the puzzling nature of the wave function, the central object in quantum mechanics. If we are realists about quantum mechanics, how should we understand the wave function? What does it represent? What is its physical meaning? Answering these questions would improve our understanding of what it means to be a realist about quantum mechanics. In this survey article, I review and compare several realist interpretations of the wave function. They fall into three categories: ontological interpretations, nomological interpretations, and the sui generis interpretation. For simplicity, I will focus on non-relativistic quantum mechanics.

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Eddy Keming Chen
University of California, San Diego

Citations of this work

Quantum Mechanics in a Time-Asymmetric Universe: On the Nature of the Initial Quantum State.Eddy Keming Chen - 2021 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 72 (4):1155–1183.
Fundamental Nomic Vagueness.Eddy Keming Chen - 2022 - Philosophical Review 131 (1):1-49.
Humeanism about laws of nature.Harjit Bhogal - 2020 - Philosophy Compass 15 (8):1-10.
The World Just Is the Way It Is.David Builes - 2021 - The Monist 104 (1):1-27.

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References found in this work

The Tools of Metaphysics and the Metaphysics of Science.Theodore Sider - 2020 - Oxford, England and New York, NY, USA: Oxford University Press.
Time and chance.David Z. Albert - 2000 - Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.

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