Philosophical Quarterly 58 (230):15-35 (2008)

Authors
Bas C. Van Fraassen
San Francisco State University
Isabelle Peschard
San Francisco State University
Abstract
In the philosophy of science, identity over time emerges as a central concern both as an ontological category in the interpretation of physical theories, and as an epistemological problem concerning the conditions of possibility of knowledge. In Reichenbach and subsequent writers on the problem of indistinguishable quantum particles we see the return of a contrast between Leibniz and Aquinas on the subject of individuation. The possibility of rejecting the principle of the identity of indiscernibles has certain logical difficulties, leading us inexorably from ontology into epistemology. For the epistemological problem we attend to the differences that emerged between the (neo-)Kantian and logical empiricist traditions, also saliently displayed in Reichenbach's writings. After examining the contrast between Kant's and Leibniz's conceptions of empirical knowledge, specifically with respect to the irreducibility of spatiotemporal determinations, we explore an application of a neo-Kantian view to the same problem of indistinguishable quantum particles.
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DOI 10.1111/j.1467-9213.2007.533.x
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References found in this work BETA

Primitive Thisness and Primitive Identity.Robert Merrihew Adams - 1979 - Journal of Philosophy 76 (1):5-26.
Are Quantum Particles Objects?Simon Saunders - 2006 - Analysis 66 (1):52-63.
Handedness, Parity Violation, and the Reality of Space.Oliver Pooley - 2001 - In Katherine Brading & Elena Castellani (eds.), Symmetries in Physics: Philosophical Reflections. Cambridge University Press. pp. 250--280.

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Citations of this work BETA

The Rise of Relationals.F. A. Muller - 2015 - Mind 124 (493):201-237.
Exchanging Quantum Particles.Tomasz Bigaj - 2015 - Philosophia Scientae 19:185-198.
Countability and self-identity.Adrian Heathcote - 2021 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 11 (4):1-23.
Quantum Logical Structures For Identical Particles.Federico Holik, Krause Decio & Gómez Ignacio - 2016 - Cadernos de História E Filosofia da Ciéncia 2 (1):13-58.

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