How Quantum Theory Helps Us Explain

Richard Andrew Healey
University of Arizona
I offer an account of how the quantum theory we have helps us explain the enormous variety of phenomena it is generally taken to explain. The account depends on what I have elsewhere called a pragmatist interpretation of the theory. This rejects views according to which a quantum state describes or represents a physical system, holding instead that it functions as a source of sound advice to physically situated agents like us on the content and appropriate degree of belief about matters concerning which they are currently inevitably ignorant. So while the account given here is incompatible with some views of structural explanation in quantum theory it is nevertheless able to incorporate what I take to be their valuable insights.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1093/bjps/axt031
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 42,236
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

How the Laws of Physics Lie.Nancy Cartwright - 1983 - Oxford University Press.
Making It Explicit.Isaac Levi & Robert B. Brandom - 1994 - Journal of Philosophy 93 (3):145.

View all 31 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Causal Relations and Explanatory Strategies in Physics.Andrew Wayne - 2015 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 29 (1):75-89.
Explanatory Integration.Andrew Wayne - 2017 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science:1-19.

View all 6 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

How Quantum Theory Helps Us Explain.Richard Healey - 2012 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science (1):axt031.
On Explaining Experiences of a Quantum World.Richard Healey - 1984 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1984:56 - 69.
The History and Philosophy of Quantum Field Theory.Don Robinson - 1994 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1994:61 - 68.
Measurement in Bohm's Versus Everett's Quantum Theory.H. -D. Zeh - 1988 - Foundations of Physics 18 (7):723-730.
Interpreting Quantum Field Theory.Laura Ruetsche - 2002 - Philosophy of Science 69 (2):348-378.
Can Quantum Theory Be Applied to the Universe as a Whole?Claus Kiefer - 2010 - Foundations of Physics 40 (9-10):1410-1418.


Added to PP index

Total views
5 ( #995,880 of 2,254,263 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #1,021,187 of 2,254,263 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes

Sign in to use this feature