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  1. The Ontology of Bohmian Mechanics.M. Esfeld, D. Lazarovici, Mario Hubert & D. Durr - 2014 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 65 (4):773-796.
    The paper points out that the modern formulation of Bohm’s quantum theory known as Bohmian mechanics is committed only to particles’ positions and a law of motion. We explain how this view can avoid the open questions that the traditional view faces according to which Bohm’s theory is committed to a wave-function that is a physical entity over and above the particles, although it is defined on configuration space instead of three-dimensional space. We then enquire into the status of the (...)
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  • Spacetime and the Abstract/Concrete Distinction.Susan C. Hale - 1988 - Philosophical Studies 53 (1):85 - 102.
  • Quantum Entanglement, Bohmian Mechanics, and Humean Supervenience.Elizabeth Miller - 2014 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 92 (3):567-583.
    David Lewis is a natural target for those who believe that findings in quantum physics threaten the tenability of traditional metaphysical reductionism. Such philosophers point to allegedly holistic entities they take both to be the subjects of some claims of quantum mechanics and to be incompatible with Lewisian metaphysics. According to one popular argument, the non-separability argument from quantum entanglement, any realist interpretation of quantum theory is straightforwardly inconsistent with the reductive conviction that the complete physical state of the world (...)
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  • A Better Best System Account of Lawhood.Jonathan Cohen & Craig Callender - 2009 - Philosophical Studies 145 (1):1 - 34.
    Perhaps the most significant contemporary theory of lawhood is the Best System (/MRL) view on which laws are true generalizations that best systematize knowledge. Our question in this paper will be how best to formulate a theory of this kind. We’ll argue that an acceptable MRL should (i) avoid inter-system comparisons of simplicity, strength, and balance, (ii) make lawhood epistemically accessible, and (iii) allow for laws in the special sciences. Attention to these problems will bring into focus a useful menu (...)
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  • Quantum Humeanism, Or: Physicalism Without Properties.Michael Esfeld - 2014 - Philosophical Quarterly 64 (256):453-470.
    In recent literature, it has become clear that quantum physics does not refute Humeanism: Lewis’s thesis of Humean supervenience can be literally true even in the light of quantum entanglement. This point has so far been made with respect to Bohm’s quantum theory. Against this background, this paper seeks to achieve the following four results: to generalize the option of quantum Humeanism from Bohmian mechanics to primitive ontology theories in general; to show that this option applies also to classical mechanics; (...)
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  • One World, One Beable.Craig Callender - 2015 - Synthese 192 (10):3153-3177.
    Is the quantum state part of the furniture of the world? Einstein found such a position indigestible, but here I present a different understanding of the wavefunction that is easy to stomach. First, I develop the idea that the wavefunction is nomological in nature, showing how the quantum It or Bit debate gets subsumed by the corresponding It or Bit debate about laws of nature. Second, I motivate the nomological view by casting quantum mechanics in a “classical” formalism (Hamilton–Jacobi theory) (...)
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  • What the Humean Should Say About Entanglement.Harjit Bhogal & Zee Perry - 2017 - Noûs 51 (1):74-94.
    Tim Maudlin has influentially argued that Humeanism about laws of nature stands in conflict with quantum mechanics. Specifically Humeanism implies the principle Separability: the complete physical state of a world is determined by the intrinsic physical state of each space-time point. Maudlin argues Separability is violated by the entangled states posited by QM. We argue that Maudlin only establishes that a stronger principle, which we call Strong Separability, is in tension with QM. Separability is not in tension with QM. Moreover, (...)
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  • Humean Supervenience.Barry Loewer - 1996 - Philosophical Topics 24 (1):101-127.
  • The Structure of a Quantum World.Jill North - 2013 - In Alyssa Ney & David Albert (eds.), The Wave Function: Essays on the Metaphysics of Quantum Mechanics. Oxford University Press. pp. 184-202.
    I argue that the fundamental space of a quantum mechanical world is the wavefunction's space. I argue for this using some very general principles that guide our inferences to the fundamental nature of a world, for any fundamental physical theory. I suggest that ordinary three-dimensional space exists in such a world, but is non-fundamental; it emerges from the fundamental space of the wavefunction.
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  • A Dilemma For The Emergence Of Spacetime In Canonical Quantum Gravity.Vincent Lam & Michael Esfeld - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 44 (3):286-293.
    The procedures of canonical quantization of the gravitational field apparently lead to entities for which any interpretation in terms of spatio-temporal localization or spatio-temporal extension seems difficult. This fact is the main ground for the suggestion that can often be found in the physics literature on canonical quantum gravity according to which spacetime may not be fundamental in some sense. This paper aims to investigate this radical suggestion from an ontologically serious point of view in the cases of two standard (...)
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  • Quantum Physics Without Quantum Philosophy.Detlef Dürr, Sheldon Goldstein & Nino Zanghì - 1995 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 26 (2):137-149.
  • Quantum States for Primitive Ontologists: A Case Study.Gordon Belot - 2012 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 2 (1):67-83.
    Under so-called primitive ontology approaches, in fully describing the history of a quantum system, one thereby attributes interesting properties to regions of spacetime. Primitive ontology approaches, which include some varieties of Bohmian mechanics and spontaneous collapse theories, are interesting in part because they hold out the hope that it should not be too difficult to make a connection between models of quantum mechanics and descriptions of histories of ordinary macroscopic bodies. But such approaches are dualistic, positing a quantum state as (...)
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  • Emergent Spacetime and Empirical (in) Coherence.Nick Huggett & Christian Wüthrich - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 44 (3):276-285.
    Numerous approaches to a quantum theory of gravity posit fundamental ontologies that exclude spacetime, either partially or wholly. This situation raises deep questions about how such theories could relate to the empirical realm, since arguably only entities localized in spacetime can ever be observed. Are such entities even possible in a theory without fundamental spacetime? How might they be derived, formally speaking? Moreover, since by assumption the fundamental entities cannot be smaller than the derived and so cannot ‘compose’ them in (...)
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  • Humean Supervenience Debugged.David Lewis - 1994 - Mind 103 (412):473--490.
    Tn this paper I explore and to an extent defend HS. The main philosophical challenges to HS come from philosophical views that say that nomic concepts-laws, chance, and causation-denote features of the world that fail to supervene on non-nomic features. Lewis rejects these views and has labored mightily to construct HS accounts of nomic concepts. His account of laws is fundamental to his program, since his accounts of the other nomic notions rely on it. Recently, a number of philosophers have (...)
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  • Simplicity in the Best Systems Account of Laws of Nature.James Woodward - 2014 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 65 (1):91-123.
    This article discusses the role of simplicity and the notion of a best balance of simplicity and strength within the best systems account (BSA) of laws of nature. The article explores whether there is anything in scientific practice that corresponds to the notion of simplicity or to the trade-off between simplicity and strength to which the BSA appeals. Various theoretical rationales for simplicity preferences and their bearing on the identification of laws are also explored. It is concluded that there are (...)
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  • "Humean" Supervenience?G. Oppy - 2000 - Philosophical Studies 101 (1):77-105.
    As with many aspects of David Lewis’s work, it is hard to provide a better summary of his views than he provided himself. So the following introduction to what the Humean Supervenience view is will follow the opening pages of Lewis (1994a) extremely closely. But for those readers who haven’t read that paper, here’s the nickel version.
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  • Nonseparability, Classical, and Quantum.Wayne C. Myrvold - 2011 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 62 (2):417-432.
    This article examines the implications of the holonomy interpretation of classical electromagnetism. As has been argued by Richard Healey and Gordon Belot, classical electromagnetism on this interpretation evinces a form of nonseparability, something that otherwise might have been thought of as confined to nonclassical physics. Consideration of the differences between this classical nonseparability and quantum nonseparability shows that the nonseparability exhibited by the classical electromagnetism on the holonomy interpretation is closer to separability than might at first appear.
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  • Against Pointillisme About Mechanics.Jeremy Butterfield - 2006 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 57 (4):709-753.
    This paper forms part of a wider campaign: to deny pointillisme, the doctrine that a physical theory's fundamental quantities are defined at points of space or of spacetime, and represent intrinsic properties of such points or point-sized objects located there; so that properties of spatial or spatiotemporal regions and their material contents are determined by the point-by-point facts. More specifically, this paper argues against pointillisme about the concept of velocity in classical mechanics; especially against proposals by Tooley, Robinson and Lewis. (...)
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  • Counterfactual Dependence and Time’s Arrow’, Reprinted with Postscripts In.David K. Lewis - 1986 - Philosophical Papers 2.
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  • Quantum Physics Without Quantum Philosophy.Detlef Dürr, Sheldon Goldstein & Nino Zanghì - 1995 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 26 (2):137-149.
    Quantum philosophy, a peculiar twentieth-century malady, is responsible for most of the conceptual muddle plaguing the foundations of quantum physics. When this philosophy is eschewed, one naturally arrives at Bohmian mechanics, which is what emerges from Schrodinger's equation for a nonrelativistic system of particles when we merely insist that 'particles' means particles. While distinctly non-Newtonian, Bohmian mechanics is a fully deterministic theory of particles in motion, a motion choreographed by the wave function. The quantum formalism emerges when measurement situations are (...)
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  • A Dilemma for the Emergence of Spacetime in Canonical Quantum Gravity.Vincent Lam & Michael Esfeld - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 44 (3):286-293.
    The procedures of canonical quantization of the gravitational field apparently lead to entities for which any interpretation in terms of spatio-temporal localization or spatio-temporal extension seems difficult. This fact is the main ground for the suggestion that can often be found in the physics literature on canonical quantum gravity according to which spacetime may not be fundamental in some sense. This paper aims to investigate this radical suggestion from an ontologically serious point of view in the cases of two standard (...)
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  • David Lewis.Brian Weatherson - 2009 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  • On the Plurality of Worlds.Allen Stairs - 1988 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 49 (2):333-352.
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  • A Proposal for a Bohmian Ontology of Quantum Gravity.Antonio Vassallo & Michael Esfeld - 2013 - Foundations of Physics (1):1-18.
    The paper shows how the Bohmian approach to quantum physics can be applied to develop a clear and coherent ontology of non-perturbative quantum gravity. We suggest retaining discrete objects as the primitive ontology also when it comes to a quantum theory of space-time and therefore focus on loop quantum gravity. We conceive atoms of space, represented in terms of nodes linked by edges in a graph, as the primitive ontology of the theory and show how a non-local law in which (...)
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  • Relationalism About Mechanics Based on a Minimalist Ontology of Matter.Antonio Vassallo, Dirk-André Deckert & Michael Esfeld - 2016 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science:1-20.
    This paper elaborates on relationalism about space and time as motivated by a minimalist ontology of the physical world: there are only matter points that are individuated by the distance relations among them, with these relations changing. We assess two strategies to combine this ontology with physics, using classical mechanics as example: the Humean strategy adopts the standard, non-relationalist physical theories as they stand and interprets their formal apparatus as the means of bookkeeping of the change of the distance relations (...)
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  • Leibnizian Relationalism for General Relativistic Physics.Antonio Vassallo & Michael Esfeld - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics:101-107.
    An ontology of Leibnizian relationalism, consisting in distance relations among sparse matter points and their change only, is well recognized as a serious option in the context of classical mechanics. In this paper, we investigate how this ontology fares when it comes to general relativistic physics. Using a Humean strategy, we regard the gravitational field as a means to represent the overall change in the distance relations among point particles in a way that achieves the best combination of being simple (...)
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  • The Primitive Ontology of Quantum Physics: Guidelines for an Assessment of the Proposals.Michael Esfeld - 2014 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 47:99-106.
    The paper seeks to make progress from stating primitive ontology theories of quantum physics – notably Bohmian mechanics, the GRW matter density theory and the GRW flash theory – to assessing these theories. Four criteria are set out: internal coherence; empirical adequacy; relationship to other theories; explanatory value. The paper argues that the stock objections against these theories do not withstand scrutiny. Its focus then is on their explanatory value: they pursue different strategies to ground the textbook formalism of quantum (...)
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  • The Metaphysics within Physics.[author unknown] - 2007 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 69 (3):610-611.
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  • The Metaphysics Within Physics. [REVIEW]Tim Maudlin - 2009 - Analysis 69 (2):374-375.
    The basic idea of Maudlin's superb book is methodological: ‘metaphysics, insofar as it is concerned with the natural world, can do no better than to reflect on physics. Physical theories provide us with the best handle we have on what there is, and the philosopher's proper task is the interpretation and elucidation of those theories. In particular, when choosing the fundamental posits of one's ontology, one must look to scientific practice rather than to philosophical prejudice’.The apparently diverse topics covered by (...)
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  • Lewis's Worldmate Relation and the Apparent Failure of Humean Supervenience.George Darby - 2009 - Dialectica 63 (2):195-204.
    This paper considers two aspects of Lewis 's metaphysics to which spatiotemporal relations appear central, with the aim of showing them to be less so. First, Lewis reluctantly characterises what it is for two things to be part of the same possible world in terms of an analogically spatiotemporal category of relations, rather than a wider natural external category. But Lewis 's reason for restricting himself to the narrower category is unpersuasive. Second, Humean supervenience is formulated with spatiotemporal relations at (...)
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  • The Emergence of Spacetime in Quantum Theories of Gravity.Nick Huggett - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 44 (3):273-275.
    This is the introduction to the special issue of Studies in the History and Philosophy of Modern Physics on the emergence of spacetime in quantum theories of spacetime.
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  • The Regularity Account of Relational Spacetime.Nick Huggett - 2006 - Mind 115 (457):41--73.
    A version of relationism that takes spatiotemporal structures—spatial geometry and a standard of inertia—to supervene on the history of relations between bodies is described and defended. The account is used to explain how the relationist should construe models of Newtonian mechanics in which absolute acceleration manifestly does not supervene on the relations; Ptolemaic and Copernican models for example. The account introduces a new way in which a Lewis-style ‘best system’ might capture regularities in a broadly Humean world; a defence is (...)
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