Foundations of Physics 43 (8):1008-1038 (2013)

Abstract
This paper addresses arguments that “separability” is an assumption of Bell’s theorem, and that abandoning this assumption in our interpretation of quantum mechanics (a position sometimes referred to as “holism”) will allow us to restore a satisfying locality principle. Separability here means that all events associated to the union of some set of disjoint regions are combinations of events associated to each region taken separately.In this article, it is shown that: (a) localised events can be consistently defined without implying separability; (b) the definition of Bell’s locality condition does not rely on separability in any way; (c) the proof of Bell’s theorem does not use separability as an assumption. If, inspired by considerations of non-separability, the assumptions of Bell’s theorem are weakened, what remains no longer embodies the locality principle. Teller’s argument for “relational holism” and Howard’s arguments concerning separability are criticised in the light of these results. Howard’s claim that Einstein grounded his arguments on the incompleteness of QM with a separability assumption is also challenged. Instead, Einstein is better interpreted as referring merely to the existence of localised events. Finally, it is argued that Bell rejected the idea that separability is an assumption of his theorem
Keywords Non-locality  Bell’s theorem  Separability  Holism
Categories (categorize this paper)
ISBN(s)
DOI 10.1007/s10701-013-9730-8
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 56,016
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

The Direction of Time.Hans Reichenbach - 1956 - Dover Publications.

View all 41 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

View all 11 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Einstein, Bell, and Nonseparable Realism.Federico Laudisa - 1995 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 46 (3):309-329.
How to (Properly) Strengthen Bell's Theorem Using Counterfactuals.Tomasz Bigaj - 2010 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 41 (1):58-66.
Holism Vs. Particularism: A Lesson From Classical and Quantum Physics. [REVIEW]Chuang Liu - 1996 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 27 (2):267-279.
Counterfactual Definiteness and Local Causation.Brian Skyrms - 1982 - Philosophy of Science 49 (1):43-50.
Aspects of Quantum Non-Locality I: Superluminal Signalling, Action-at-a-Distance, Non-Separability and Holism.Joseph Berkovitz - 1998 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 29 (2):183-222.
Bell’s Theorem: Two Neglected Solutions.Louis Vervoort - 2013 - Foundations of Physics 43 (6):769-791.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2013-07-14

Total views
142 ( #67,191 of 2,403,690 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #550,229 of 2,403,690 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes