Laws of nature and the reality of the wave function

Synthese 192 (10):3179-3201 (2015)
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Abstract

In this paper I review three different positions on the wave function, namely: nomological realism, dispositionalism, and configuration space realism by regarding as essential their capacity to account for the world of our experience. I conclude that the first two positions are committed to regard the wave function as an abstract entity. The third position will be shown to be a merely speculative attempt to derive a primitive ontology from a reified mathematical space. Without entering any discussion about nominalism, I conclude that an elimination of abstract entities from one’s ontology commits one to instrumentalism about the wave function, a position that therefore is not as unmotivated as it has seemed to be to many philosophers.

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Mauro Dorato
Università degli Studi Roma Tre

References found in this work

How the laws of physics lie.Nancy Cartwright - 1983 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Every thing must go: metaphysics naturalized.James Ladyman & Don Ross - 2007 - New York: Oxford University Press. Edited by Don Ross, David Spurrett & John G. Collier.
The metaphysics within physics.Tim Maudlin - 2007 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Scientific Essentialism.Brian Ellis - 2001 - New York: Cambridge University Press.

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