Quantum Reality, Perspectivalism and Covariance

Foundations of Physics 49 (6):629-646 (2019)

Authors
Dennis Dieks
Utrecht University
Abstract
Paul Busch has emphasized on various occasions the importance for physics of going beyond a merely instrumentalist view of quantum mechanics. Even if we cannot be sure that any particular realist interpretation describes the world as it actually is, the investigation of possible realist interpretations helps us to develop new physical ideas and better intuitions about the nature of physical objects at the micro level. In this spirit, Paul Busch himself pioneered the concept of “unsharp quantum reality”, according to which there is an objective non-classical indeterminacy—a lack of sharpness—in the properties of individual quantum systems. We concur with Busch’s motivation for investigating realist interpretations of quantum mechanics and with his willingness to move away from classical intuitions. In this article we try to take some further steps on this road. In particular, we pay attention to a number of prima facie implausible and counter-intuitive aspects of realist interpretations of unitary quantum mechanics. We shall argue that from a realist viewpoint, quantum contextuality naturally leads to “perspectivalism” with respect to properties of spatially extended quantum systems, and that this perspectivalism is important for making relativistic covariance possible.
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DOI 10.1007/s10701-019-00264-0
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References found in this work BETA

Quantum Theory and the Limits of Objectivity.Richard Healey - 2018 - Foundations of Physics 48 (11):1568-1589.
Interpreting the Quantum World.Jeffrey Bub - 1998 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 49 (4):637-641.
Modal Interpretations of Quantum Mechanics.Olimpia Lombardi & Dennis Dieks - forthcoming - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

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