Immanent Powers versus Causal Powers in Quantum Mechanics


Abstract
In this paper we compare two different notions of 'power', both of which attempt to provide a realist understanding of quantum mechanics grounded on the potential mode of existence. For this propose we will begin by introducing two different notions of potentiality present already within Aristotelian metaphysics, namely, irrational potentiality and rational potentiality. After discussing the role played by potentiality within classical and quantum mechanics, we will address the notion of causal power which is directly related to irrational potentiality and has been adopted by many interpretations of QM. We will then present the notion of immanent power which relates to rational potentiality and argue that this new concept presents important advantages regarding the possibilities it provides for understanding in a novel manner the theory of quanta. We end our paper with a comparison between both notions of 'power', stressing some radical differences between them.
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The Scientific Image.Bas C. Van Fraassen - 1980 - Journal of Philosophy 79 (5):274-283.
The Structure of Science.Ernest Nagel - 1961 - Les Etudes Philosophiques 17 (2):275-275.
Scientific Representation: Against Similarity and Isomorphism.Mauricio Suárez - 2003 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 17 (3):225-244.

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