AbstractIn this paper I examine the role of dispositional properties in the most frequently discussed interpretations of non-relativistic quantum mechanics. After offering some motivation for this project, I briefly characterize the distinction between non-dispositional and dispositional properties in the context of quantum mechanics by suggesting a necessary condition for dispositionality – namely contextuality – and, consequently, a sufficient condition for non-dispositionality, namely non-contextuality. Having made sure that the distinction is conceptually sound, I then analyze the plausibility of the widespread, monistic ontological thesis about the reducibility of dispositional properties to categorical properties in the context of the philosophy of quantum mechanics. I conclude that with the exception of Bohmian mechanics, the other “minimally realist” views of quantum mechanics require essential dispositions, i.e., dispositions of a non-reducible kind. Interestingly, seen behind the lenses of dispositionalism, Bohr’s and Bohm’s interpretations of quantum mechanics are much closer than it is usually recognized, a fact that could teach us something about the way the quantum world is.
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References found in this work
Explanation and Scientific Understanding.Michael Friedman - 1974 - Journal of Philosophy 71 (1):5-19.
Physics and Philosophy: The Revolution in Modern Science.Werner Heisenberg - 1958 - New York: Harper.
The Philosophy of Quantum Mechanics: The Interpretations of Quantum Mechanics in Historical Perspective.Max Jammer - 1974 - New York: Wiley.
Physics and Philosophy: The Revolution in Modern Science.Werner Heisenberg - 1958 - London, England: Prometheus Books.
Citations of this work
GRW as an Ontology of Dispositions.Mauro Dorato & Michael Esfeld - 2010 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 41 (1):41-49.
Laws of Nature and the Reality of the Wave Function.Mauro Dorato - 2015 - Synthese 192 (10):3179-3201.
Realism and Instrumentalism About the Wave Function. How Should We Choose?Mauro Dorato & Federico Laudisa - 2014 - In Shao Gan (ed.), Protective Measurements and Quantum Reality: Toward a New Understanding of Quantum Mechanics. Cambridge University Press.
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