Steven French and Decio Krause examine the metaphysical foundations of quantum physics. They draw together historical, logical, and philosophical perspectives on the fundamental nature of quantum particles and offer new insights on a range of important issues. Focusing on the concepts of identity and individuality, the authors explore two alternative metaphysical views; according to one, quantum particles are no different from books, tables, and people in this respect; according to the other, they most certainly are. Each view comes with certain (...) costs attached and after describing their origins in the history of quantum theory, the authors carefully consider whether these costs are worth bearing. Recent contributions to these discussions are analyzed in detail and the authors present their own original perspective on the issues. The final chapter suggests how this perspective can be taken forward in the context of quantum field theory. (shrink)
According to the semantic view, a theory is characterized by a class of models. In this paper, we examine critically some of the assumptions that underlie this approach. First, we recall that models are models of something. Thus we cannot leave completely aside the axiomatization of the theories under consideration, nor can we ignore the metamathematics used to elaborate these models, for changes in the metamathematics often impose restrictions on the resulting models. Second, based on a parallel between van Fraassen’s (...) modal interpretation of quantum mechanics and Skolem’s relativism regarding set-theoretic concepts, we introduce a distinction between relative and absolute concepts in the context of the models of a scientific theory. And we discuss the significance of that distinction. Finally, by focusing on contemporary particle physics, we raise the question: since there is no general accepted unification of the parts of the standard model (namely, QED and QCD), we have no theory, in the usual sense of the term. This poses a difficulty: if there is no theory, how can we speak of its models? What are the latter models of? We conclude by noting that it is unclear that the semantic view can be applied to contemporary physical theories. (shrink)
Our aim in this paper is to take quite seriously Heinz Post’s claim that the non-individuality and the indiscernibility of quantum objects should be introduced right at the start, and not made a posteriori by introducing symmetry conditions. Using a different mathematical framework, namely, quasi-set theory, we avoid working within a label-tensor-product-vector-space-formalism, to use Redhead and Teller’s words, and get a more intuitive way of dealing with the formalism of quantum mechanics, although the underlying logic should be modified. We build (...) a vector space with inner product, the Q-space, using the non-classical part of quasi-set theory, to deal with indistinguishable elements. Vectors in Q-space refer only to occupation numbers and permutation operators act as the identity operator on them, reflecting in the formalism the fact of unobservability of permutations. Thus, this paper can be regarded as a tentative to follow and enlarge Heinsenberg’s suggestion that new phenomena require the formation of a new “closed” (that is, axiomatic) theory, coping also with the physical theory’s underlying logic and mathematics. (shrink)
The concept of non-domination is an important contribution to the study of freedom but it does not comprehend the whole of freedom. Insofar as domination requires a conscious capacity for control on the part of the dominant party, it fails to capture important threats to individual freedom that permeate many contemporary liberal democracies today. Much of the racism, sexism and other cultural biases that currently constrain the life-chances of members of subordinate groups in the USA are largely unconscious and unintentional, (...) and they do not always involve control. Although they constitute real barriers to freedom, these forms of influence are not accurately characterized as domination, and they will require different mechanisms to overcome them. To achieve the more capacious freedoms that liberal democracy promises, we will need to go beyond non-domination and to come to terms with the non-sovereign, socially distributed character of human agency. (shrink)
We discuss the idea that superpositions in quantum mechanics may involve contradictions or contradictory properties. A state of superposition such as the one comprised in the famous Schrödinger’s cat, for instance, is sometimes said to attribute contradictory properties to the cat: being dead and alive at the same time. If that were the case, we would be facing a revolution in logic and science, since we would have one of our greatest scientific achievements showing that real contradictions exist.We analyze that (...) claim by employing the traditional square of opposition.We suggest that it is difficult to make sense of the idea of contradiction in the case of quantum superpositions. From a metaphysical point of view the suggestion also faces obstacles, and we present some of them. (shrink)
Quasi-set theory has been proposed as a means of handling collections of indiscernible objects. Although the most direct application of the theory is quantum physics, it can be seen per se as a non-classical logic (a non-reflexive logic). In this paper we revise and correct some aspects of quasi-set theory as presented in , so as to avoid some misunderstandings and possible misinterpretations about the results achieved by the theory. Some further ideas with regard to quantum field theory are also (...) advanced in this paper. (shrink)
ZusammenfassungDie Uterustransplantation ermöglicht Frauen mit einer absoluten uterinen Infertilität eine Schwangerschaft mit biologisch eigenem Kind. Das neuartige experimentelle Verfahren wirft eine Reihe von ethischen Fragen auf. Ziel dieses Artikels ist es, relevante ethische Problemkonstellationen im Kontext der Uterustransplantation überblickshaft darzulegen und kritisch zu diskutieren. Als systematischer Rahmen der Darstellung dienen die vier Prinzipien der Medizinethik Autonomie, Nicht-Schaden, Wohltun und Gerechtigkeit nach Beauchamp und Childress. Nach eingehender ethischer Betrachtung plädieren die Autorinnen mit Blick auf die Akkumulation schwerwiegender ethischer Probleme für die (...) Notwendigkeit einer grundlegenden und umfassenden ethischen Debatte über Uterustransplantation. Ausgangspunkt einer solchen Debatte muss eine kritische Reflexion des normativen Stellenwerts des Leidens an einem unerfüllten Kinderwunsch sein. (shrink)
It has been suggested that quantum particles are genuinelyvague objects (Lowe 1994a). The present work explores thissuggestion in terms of the various metaphysical packages that areavailable for describing such particles. The formal frameworksunderpinning such packages are outlined and issues of identityand reference are considered from this overall perspective. Indoing so we hope to illuminate the diverse ways in whichvagueness can arise in the quantum context.
Following J.-Y.Béziau in his pioneer work on non-standard interpretations of the traditional square of opposition, we have applied the abstract structure of the square to study the relation of opposition between states in superposition in orthodox quantum mechanics in . Our conclusion was that such states are contraries, contradicting previous analyzes that have led to different results, such as those claiming that those states represent contradictory properties. In this chapter we bring the issue once again into the center of the (...) stage, but now discussing the metaphysical presuppositions which underlie each kind of analysis and which lead to each kind of result, discussing in particular the idea that superpositions represent potential contradictions. We shall argue that the analysis according to which states in superposition are contrary rather than contradictory is still more plausible. (shrink)
El artículo analiza el rol que cumple la confianza en la construcción de la realidad social, argumentando que constituye uno de sus componentes esenciales. Lo es porque hace posible el nacimiento, permanencia y reconocimiento colectivo de las instituciones, así como su iteración y organización en subsistemas.
In this paper I consider some logical and mathematical aspects of the discussion of the identity and individuality of quantum entities. I shall point out that for some aspects of the discussion, the logical basis cannot be put aside; on the contrary, it leads us to unavoidable conclusions which may have consequences in how we articulate certain concepts related to quantum theory. Behind the discussion, there is a general argument which suggests the possibility of a metaphysics of non-individuals, based on (...) a reasonable interpretation of quantum basic entities. I close the paper with a suggestion that consists in emphasizing that quanta should be referred to by the cardinalities of the collections to which they belong, for which an adequate mathematical framework seems to be possible. (shrink)
In this paper we deal with two applications of the square of opposition to controversial issues in the philosophy of quantum mechanics. The first one concerns the kind of opposition represented by states in superposition. A superposition of “spin up” and “spin down” for a given spatial direction, for instance, is sometimes said to originate particular kinds of opposition such as contradictoriness. The second application concerns the problem of identical particles. Identity and indiscernibility are entangled in discussions of this problem (...) in such a way that a proper conceptual treatment of those issues through the square seems profitable. (shrink)
We critically examine the claim that identity is a fundamental concept. According to those putting forward this thesis, there are four related reasons that can be called upon to ground the fundamental character of identity: identity is presupposed in every conceptual system; identity is required to characterize individuality; identity cannot be defined; the intelligibility of quantification requires identity. We address each of these points and argue that none of them advances compelling reasons to hold that identity is fundamental; in fact, (...) most of the tasks that seem to require identity may be performed without identity. So, in the end, identity may not be a fundamental concept after all. (shrink)
En este trabajo examinamos el tópico de la responsabilidad en el derecho penal internacional a la luz de la filosofía de John Searle, y del fallo dictado por la Corte Penal Internacional en el caso de Thomas Lubanga. En el primer acápite analizamos la declaración de responsabilidad penal en función de la teoría de actos de habla de Austin y de Searle, tratándola como un acto ilocucionario cuyo significado es dependiente de un marco institucional específico. Luego, en el segundo acápite, (...) mostramos de qué forma tal marco puede reconstruirse como un ejemplo paradigmático de la realidad social construida descrita por Searle, especialmente en virtud del nexo entre mente, lenguaje y sociedad. A nuestro juicio, los conceptos de intencionalidad colectiva, atribución de funciones de estatus y poderes deónticos son fundamentales para entender tal nexo. En efecto, tal como argumentamos en la tercera sección, los sistemas de poderes deónticos asociados al derecho internacional no solo explican la aparición de Tribunales penales internacionales, como la Corte Penal Internacional, sino además el carácter imprescriptible de los crímenes de lesa humanidad. Los acuerdos internacionales que promueven y protegen los derechos humanos, y que tratan la imprescriptibilidad de aquellos crímenes, son objeto de análisis en la sección final, en donde exponemos algunas reflexiones finales a partir del caso Lubanga. (shrink)
We consider the claim by Dorato and Morganti 591–610) that primitive individuality should be attributed to the entities dealt with by non-relativistic quantum mechanics. There are two central ingredients in the proposal: in the case of non-relativistic quantum mechanics, individuality should be taken as a primitive notion and primitive individuality is naturalistically acceptable. We argue that, strictly understood, naturalism faces difficulties in helping to provide a theory with a unique principle of individuation. We also hold that even when taken in (...) a loose sense, naturalism does not provide any sense in which one could hold that quantum mechanics endorses primitive individuality over non-individuality. Rather, we argue that non-individuality should be preferred based on the grounds that such a view fits better the claims of the theory. (shrink)
This paper develops a formal framework to model a process in which the formation of individual opinions is embedded in a deliberative exchange with others. The paper opts for a low-resolution modeling approach and abstracts away from most of the details of the social-epistemic process. Taking a bird's eye view allows us to analyze the chances for the truth to be found and broadly accepted under conditions of cognitive division of labour combined with a social exchange process. Cognitive division of (...) labour means that only some individuals are active truth seekers, possibly with different capacities. Both mathematical tools and computer simulations are used to investigate the model. As an analytical result, the Funnel Theorem states that under rather weak conditions on the social process, a consensus on the truth will be reached if all individuals possess an arbitrarily small capacity to go for the truth. The Leading the pack Theorem states that under certain conditions even a single truth seeker may lead all individuals to the truth. Systematic simulations analyze how close agents can get to the truth depending upon the frequency of truth seekers, their capacities as truth seekers, the position of the truth (more to the extreme or more in the centre of an opinion space), and the willingness to take into account the opinions of others when exchanging and updating opinions. (shrink)
The concept of indiscernibility in a structure is analysed with the aim of emphasizing that in asserting that two objects are indiscernible, it is useful to consider these objects as members of (the domain of) a structure. A case for this usefulness is presented by examining the consequences of this view to the philosophical discussion on identity and indiscernibility in quantum theory.
A better appreciation of the material, distributed quality of human agency can illuminate subtle dynamics of domination and oppression and reveal resources for potentially liberatory political action. Materialist accounts of agency nevertheless pose challenges to the notion of personal responsibility that is so crucial to political obligation and democratic citizenship. To guard against this danger, we need to sustain the close connection between agency and a sense of selfhood that is individuated, reflexive, and responsive to norms. Yet we should acknowledge (...) that reflexive selfhood is not the whole of individual agency for the sources of agency extend beyond the individual herself. We also need to recognize the ways that both reflexivity and norm-responsiveness are themselves embodied capacities. When properly conceived, a materialist view of agency can increase awareness of our oftenunwitting contributions to systematic inequalities of power and extend our political responsibilities in emancipatory directions, thus holding great promise for democratic life. (shrink)
Lowe has recently argued that quantum particles offer examples of vague objects. While accepting the premise of the argument that such particles can be regarded as individuals, we point out that there is a lacuna here, to be filled by a detailed analysis of the nature of the entangled states which they enter into. We then elaborate the alternative view, according to which such particles should be regarded as non- individuals' and situate it in the context of recent developments of (...) a logic of non- individuality. Our conclusion is that it is here that one encounters genuine ontic vagueness. (shrink)
In this paper we discuss some questions proposed by Prof. Newton da Costa on the foundations of quasi-set theory. His main doubts concern the possibility of a reasonable semantical understanding of the theory, mainly due to the fact that identity and difference do not apply to some entities of the theory’s intended domain of discourse. According to him, the quantifiers employed in the theory, when understood in the usual way, rely on the assumption that identity applies to all entities in (...) the domain of discourse. Inspired by his provocation, we suggest that, using some ideas presented by da Costa himself in his seminars at UFSC and by one of us in some papers, these difficulties can be overcome both on a formal level and on an informal level, showing how quantification over items for which identity does not make sense can be understood without presupposing a semantics based on a ‘classical’ set theory. (shrink)
The physics and metaphysics of identity and individuality Content Type Journal Article DOI 10.1007/s11016-010-9463-7 Authors Don Howard, Department of Philosophy and Graduate Program in History and Philosophy of Science, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN 46556, USA Bas C. van Fraassen, Philosophy Department, San Francisco State University, 1600 Holloway Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94132, USA Otávio Bueno, Department of Philosophy, University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL 33124, USA Elena Castellani, Department of Philosophy, University of Florence, Via Bolognese 52, 50139 (...) Florence, Italy Laura Crosilla, Department of Pure Mathematics, School of Mathematics, University of Leeds, Leeds, LS2 9JT UK Steven French, Department of Philosophy, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK Décio Krause, Department of Philosophy, Federal University of Santa Catarina, 88040-900 Campus Trindade, Florianópolis, SC Brazil Journal Metascience Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796. (shrink)
The social banking market constitutes a small but rapidly growing submarket of the global banking sector. Due to an explicit commitment to sustainability, social banking is a segment of banking services which is not exclusively focused on economic performance criteria, but pursues ecological and social goal dimensions on an equal footing. Information on the number and reachability of potential social banking customers is essential for social banks to further promote sustainable consumption in finance. In scientific research, social banking is considered (...) a relatively new field, still lacking empirical analyses regarding the market size and specific consumer behaviour. This study addresses the research gap by generating first insights into the German social banking market. Based on an online survey using an adaptive conjoint analysis, a large data set covering 3537 respondents was compiled. Sample 1 comprises 2896 respondents who are customers of three major social banks in Germany. Sample 2 covers the remaining 641 respondents who represent the German adult population and exclusively buy from conventional banks. Logistic regression modelling reveals that social banking customers differ significantly from their conventional counterparts regarding several socio-demographic, behavioural and psychographic factors. In comparison with conventional banking customers, social banking customers tend to be younger, higher educated and located in larger places of residence. Contrary to existing research on socially responsible investors, they are male to a higher proportion than female. Moreover, social banking customers demonstrate stronger sustainable buying patterns and weaker preferences for financial, but stronger preferences for social return than conventional banking customers. The results further indicate a considerable untapped growth potential for social banks by uncovering a market size ranging between 10 and 26% of the German adult population. Finally, suggestions for marketing strategies and future research are given. (shrink)
Physics is not just mathematics. This seems trivial, but poses difficult and interesting questions. In this paper we analyse a particular discrepancy between non-relativistic quantum mechanics and ‘classical’ space and time. We also suggest, but not discuss, the case of the relativistic QM. In this work, we are more concerned with the notion of space and its mathematical representation. The mathematics entails that any two spatially separated objects are necessarily different, which implies that they are discernible —we say that the (...) space is T2, or “Hausdorff”, or yet “separable”. But when enters QM, sometimes the systems need to be taken as completely indistinguishable, so that there is no way to tell which system is which, and this holds even in the case of fermions. But in the NST setting, it seems that we can always give an identity to them by means of their individuation, which seems to be contra the quantum physical situation, where individuation does not entail identity. Here we discuss this topic by considering a case study and conclude that, taking into account the quantum case, that is, when physics enter the discussion, even NST cannot be used to say that the systems do have identity. This case study seems to be relevant for a more detailed discussion on the interplay between physical theories and their underlying mathematics, in a simple way apparently never realized before. (shrink)
The ‘ontic’ form of structural realism , roughly speaking, admits a complete elimination of the objects in the discourse of scientific theories, leaving us with structures only. As put by the defenders of such a claim, the idea is that all there is are structures and, if the relevant structures are to be set-theoretical constructs , as it has also been claimed, then the relations which appear in such structures should be taken to be ‘relations without the relata’. As far (...) as we know, there is not a definition of structure in standard mathematics which fits their intuitions, and even category theory seems not to correspond adequately the OSR claims. Since OSR is also linked with the semantic approach to theories, the structures to be dealt with are taken to be set-theoretical constructs. But these are ‘relational’ structures where the involved relations are built from basic objects , and so no complete elimination of the relata is possible, although it would be adequate for characterizing OSR. In this paper we present a definition of a kind of relation that does not depend on the particular objects being related in the sense that the ‘relation’ continues to hold even if the relata are exchanged by suitable objects. Although there is not a ‘complete’ elimination of relata, our definition might be viewed as an alternative way of finding adequate mathematical ‘set-theoretical’ frameworks for describing at least some of the intuitions regarding OSR within a ‘set-theoretical’ framework. (shrink)
We investigate the higher-order modal logic , which is a variant of the system presented in our previous work. A semantics for that system, founded on the theory of quasi sets, is outlined. We show how such a semantics, motivated by the very intuitive base of Schrödinger logics, provides an alternative way to formalize some intensional concepts and features which have been used in recent discussions on the logical foundations of quantum mechanics; for example, that some terms like 'electron' have (...) no precise reference and that 'identical' particles cannot be named unambiguously. In the last section, we sketch a classical semantics for quasi set theory. (shrink)
In this paper we present an overview of Professor Newton C. A. da Costa’s work in logic, emphasizing the main results obtained by him in the several areas of his research activity. The text furnish a detailed bibliographic reference of his works, which are listed in the last section.
H. Post's conception of quantal particles as non-individuals is set in a formal logico-mathematical framework. By means of this approach certain metaphysical implications of quantum mechanics can be further explored.
Vor dem Hintergrund, dass in den Medien und der Öffentlichkeit thematisierte und dargestellte Arztbilder stets auch auf die öffentliche Meinung und die Vorstellungen der Menschen von Ärzten wirken, spürt der Artikel der Frage nach, welches Arztbild die amerikanische TV-KrankenhausserieDr. House transportiert und welche Ausprägung das dargestellte Arzt-Patienten-Verhältnis einnimmt. Hierbei werden die medizinethischen Reflexionen durch eine detaillierte medienwissenschaftliche Genre-Einordnung und dramaturgische Analyse eingerahmt und unterstützt. Zudem werden als Analyseinstrumentarium die vier Modelle des Arzt-Patienten-Verhältnisses nach Emanuel/Emanuel herangezogen. Dieser interdisziplinäre Forschungsansatz zeigt, dass (...) die Hauptfigur der Serie, der Arzt Dr. Gregory House, durchaus als Gegenentwurf einesmodernen Arztes, der fürsorglich, nicht-direktiv und stets im Sinne desinformed consent handelt, konzipiert und präsentiert wird. Doch ist daraus nicht zu schließen, dass die Figur des Dr. House einseitig als Paternalist gezeichnet ist. Die Kategorisierung und Einordnung des Dr. House und der von ihm repräsentierten Arzttugenden ist vielmehr entlangaller Elemente des gesellschaftlichen Arztideals vorzunehmen, zu denen eine entsprechende wissenschaftlich-medizinische Kompetenz, die Orientierung an objektivierbaren Indizien, die Verpflichtung auf das naturwissenschaftliche, evidenzbasierte Ideal, eine angenehme Kommunikation mit dem Patienten sowie die nötige, gebotene Aufklärung zählen. So wird in der Analyse deutlich, dass die Darstellung von Dr. House vielschichtiger ist und immer wieder auf ethische Dilemma-Situationen in der Medizin verweist. Diese wirkmächtige dramatisch-filmische Darstellung von Konfliktsituationen im diagnostisch-therapeutischen Kontext sollte daher auch in der kommunikationswissenschaftlichen Wirkungsforschung vertieft werden. (shrink)
Recently, in the debate about the ontology of quantum mechanics some authors have defended the view that quantum particles are individuals in a primitive sense, so that individuality should be preferred over non-individuality (the alternative option). Primitive individuality involves two main claims: (1) every item is identical with itself and (2) it is distinct from every other item. Non-relativistic quantum mechanics is said to provide positive evidence for that position, since in every situation comprising multiple particles there is a well-defined (...) number of them to begin with, and so they must be distinct from each other. We argue that the link between a well-defined number of items and the relation of identity that is being claimed to hold is not imposed by quantum mechanics, but rather by a metaphysical view. Formal evidence is advanced in favor of the thesis that counting may be performed for items without identity (non-individuals), so that quantum mechanics needs not be viewed as endorsing an ontology of individuals. (shrink)
In this work, we focus on a very specific case study: assuming that quantum theories deal with “particles” of some kind, what kind of entity can such particles be? One possible answer, the one we shall examine here, is that they are not the usual kind of object found in daily life: individuals. Rather, we follow a suggestion by Erwin Schrödinger, according to which quantum mechanics poses a revolutionary kind of entity: non-individuals. While physics, as a scientific field, is not (...) concerned with whether entities posited by a specific physical theory are individuals or not, answering this question is part of the quest for a better understanding of physical reality. Here lies, in large measure, the relevance of ontology. (shrink)
In this paper we try to justify our way of looking for an alternative approach to quantum mechanics, which is based on a non-classical logic. We consider two specific questions related to quantum theory, namely, entanglement and the indiscernibility of quanta. We characterize individuals, and then explain in what sense entanglement is a concept which can be applied to individuals in a restricted sense only. Then, we turn to indiscernibility and, after realizing that this concept is of a fundamental importance, (...) we mention the ‘traditional’ theory of identity of standard logic and mathematics, which underly the basic formalism of quantum theory. Then we propose to call the Problem of Identity the question whether identity of objects can be justified, and under what conditions. As in the Hume’s celebrated Problem of Induction, we conclude that the attribution of transtemporal identity to an object has no logic justification, and must be considered as a metaphysical hypothesis. Numerical identity is also put aside for similar reasons. Then we guess that identity is just an useful concept, but which in certain fields, mainly in the quantum realm, could be substituted by a weaker concept of indiscernibility. This assumption motivates us to look for an interpretation of quantum mechanics based on a non-classical logic, termed non-reflexive, and the corresponding mechanics is called non-reflexive quantum mechanics. (shrink)
In this paper we discuss two approaches to the axiomatization of scientific theories in the context of the so called semantic approach, according to which (roughly) a theory can be seen as a class of models. The two approaches are associated respectively to Suppes’ and to da Costa and Chuaqui’s works. We argue that theories can be developed both in a way more akin to the usual mathematical practice (Suppes), in an informal set theoretical environment, writing the set theoretical predicate (...) in the language of set theory itself or, more rigorously (da Costa and Chuaqui), by employing formal languages that help us in writing the postulates to define a class of structures. Both approaches are called internal , for we work within a mathematical framework, here taken to be first-order ZFC. We contrast these approaches with an external one, here discussed briefly. We argue that each one has its strong and weak points, whose discussion is relevant for the philosophical foundations of science. (shrink)
The literature on quantum logic emphasizes that the algebraic structures involved with orthodox quantum mechanics are non distributive. In this paper we develop a particular algebraic structure, the quasi-lattice (J-lattice), which can be modeled by an algebraic structure built in quasi-set theory Q. This structure is non distributive and involve indiscernible elements. Thus we show that in taking into account indiscernibility as a primitive concept, the quasi-lattice that 'naturally' arises is non distributive.
The number of people without rights of residence or work in the territory of Western Europe's nation states is growing. In official representations of political life this group is commonly 'symbolically eliminated' or taken up by an increasingly hostile discourse on 'illegal immigrants' and 'international terrorism'. This article explores what a rereading of the work of Hannah Arendt can contribute to the analytical task of giving an alternative meaning to the presence of this group. Arendt opens up new ways of (...) thinking and acting in view of the present situation. She shows us the rightless migrant as subject to a very specific form of domination - total domination. With Arendt we can see the migrant also as an emblematic philosophical figure, whose status exposes the contradiction of state-centred citizenship and the discourse of human rights. Lastly, the migrant comes into view as a potential political actor; protests by sans papiers become visible as sites of active citizenship. (shrink)