Quantum Individuality

In Jonas R. B. Arenhart & Raoni W. Arroyo (eds.), Non-Reflexive Logics, Non-Individuals, and the Philosophy of Quantum Mechanics: Essays in Honour of the Philosophy of Décio Krause. Springer Verlag. pp. 11-27 (2023)
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Abstract

Décio Krause is one of the staunchest defenders of the “Received View” of “identical quantum particles”, i.e. quantum particles of the same kind. According to the Received View identical quantum particles do not possess individuating properties: they are entities without identity. Still, they are “different” from each other in the weak sense that there can be more than one of them. As Décio Krause has pointed out, such identity-less objects must be handled by a non-standard set theory—quasi-set theory, a subject to which he has made important contributions.In this Chapter we compare and contrast the ideas of the Received View with those of a rival interpretation that has recently started to attract attention. According to this Alternative View quantum particles are emerging entities—at a fundamental level, the world does not consist of particles. But once emerged, quantum particles of the same kind are distinguishable and possess identity, so that they can be dealt with by standard set theory and ordinary mathematics.

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Dennis Dieks
Utrecht University

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