It's a Matter of Principle: Scientific Explanation in Information‐Theoretic Reconstructions of Quantum Theory

Dialectica 70 (4):549-575 (2016)

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Abstract
The aim of this paper is to explore the ways in which Axiomatic Reconstructions of Quantum Theory in terms of Information-Theoretic principles can contribute to explaining and understanding quantum phenomena, as well as to study their explanatory limitations. This is achieved in part by offering an account of the kind of explanation that axiomatic reconstructions of Quantum Theory provide, and re-evaluating the epistemic status of the program in light of this explanation. As illustrative case studies, I take Clifton's, Bub's and Halvorson's characterization theorem and Popescu's and Rohrlich's toy models, and their explanatory contribution with respect to quantum nonlocality. On the one hand, I argue that ARQITs can aspire to provide genuine explanations of quantum nonlocality. On the other hand, I argue that such explanations cannot rule out a mechanical quantum theory.
Keywords Quantum Information Theory  Scientific Explanation  entanglement
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DOI 10.1111/1746-8361.12160
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References found in this work BETA

Explaining the Brain.Carl F. Craver - 2009 - Oxford University Press.
What Makes a Scientific Explanation Distinctively Mathematical?Marc Lange - 2013 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 64 (3):485-511.
How Scientific Models Can Explain.Alisa Bokulich - 2011 - Synthese 180 (1):33 - 45.
Explanatory Unification.Philip Kitcher - 1981 - Philosophy of Science 48 (4):507-531.

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Citations of this work BETA

Quantum Theory is Not Only About Information.Laura Felline - 2018 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics.
Information Causality, the Tsirelson Bound, and the 'Being-Thus' of Things.Michael E. Cuffaro - forthcoming - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics.

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