Foundations of Physics 38 (10):923-934 (2008)
Saunders has recently claimed that “identical quantum particles” with an anti-symmetric state (fermions) are weakly discernible objects, just like irreflexively related ordinary objects in situations with perfect symmetry (Black’s spheres, for example). Weakly discernible objects have all their qualitative properties in common but nevertheless differ from each other by virtue of (a generalized version of) Leibniz’s principle, since they stand in relations an entity cannot have to itself. This notion of weak discernibility has been criticized as question begging, but we defend and accept it for classical cases likes Black’s spheres. We argue, however, that the quantum mechanical case is different. Here the application of the notion of weak discernibility indeed is question begging and in conflict with standard interpretational ideas. We conclude that the introduction of the conceptual resource of weak discernibility does not change the interpretational status quo in quantum mechanics
|Keywords||Identical particles Weak discernibility Leibniz’s principle Structuralism|
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References found in this work BETA
Identity in Physics: A Historical, Philosophical, and Formal Analysis.Steven French - 2006 - Oxford University Press.
Citations of this work BETA
Grades of Individuality. A Pluralistic View of Identity in Quantum Mechanics and in the Sciences.Mauro Dorato & Matteo Morganti - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 163 (3):591-610.
Ontic Structural Realism and the Principle of the Identity of Indiscernibles.Peter Ainsworth - 2011 - Erkenntnis 75 (1):67-84.
Quantum Particles as Conceptual Entities: A Possible Explanatory Framework for Quantum Theory. [REVIEW]Diederik Aerts - 2009 - Foundations of Science 14 (4):361-411.
On Witness-Discernibility of Elementary Particles.Øystein Linnebo & F. A. Muller - 2013 - Erkenntnis 78 (5):1133-1142.
The Entanglement Structure of Quantum Field Systems.Vincent Lam - 2013 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 27 (1):59 - 72.
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