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Andrea Oldofredi
University of Lausanne
  1.  23
    A Persistent Particle Ontology for Quantum Field Theory in Terms of the Dirac Sea.Dirk-André Deckert, Michael Esfeld & Andrea Oldofredi - 2019 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 70 (3):747-770.
    We show that the Bohmian approach in terms of persisting particles that move on continuous trajectories following a deterministic law can be literally applied to quantum field theory. By means of the Dirac sea model—exemplified in the electron sector of the standard model neglecting radiation—we explain how starting from persisting particles, one is led to standard QFT employing creation and annihilation operators when tracking the dynamics with respect to a reference state, the so-called vacuum. Since on the level of wave (...)
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  2.  32
    A Persistent Particle Ontology for QFT in Terms of the Dirac Sea.Dirk-André Deckert, Michael Esfeld & Andrea Oldofredi - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    We show that the Bohmian approach in terms of persisting particles that move on continuous trajectories following a deterministic law can be literally applied to QFT. By means of the Dirac sea model – exemplified in the electron sector of the standard model neglecting radiation – we explain how starting from persisting particles, one is led to standard QFT employing creation and annihilation operators when tracking the dynamics with respect to a reference state, the so-called vacuum. Since on the level (...)
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  3. The dissipative approach to quantum field theory: conceptual foundations and ontological implications.Andrea Oldofredi & Hans Christian Öttinger - 2020 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 11 (1):1-36.
    Many attempts have been made to provide Quantum Field Theory with conceptually clear and mathematically rigorous foundations; remarkable examples are the Bohmian and the algebraic perspectives respectively. In this essay we introduce the dissipative approach to QFT, a new alternative formulation of the theory explaining the phenomena of particle creation and annihilation starting from nonequilibrium thermodynamics. It is shown that DQFT presents a rigorous mathematical structure, and a clear particle ontology, taking the best from the mentioned perspectives. Finally, after the (...)
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  4.  10
    The Bundle Theory Approach to Relational Quantum Mechanics.Andrea Oldofredi - 2021 - Foundations of Physics 51 (1):1-22.
    The present essay provides a new metaphysical interpretation of Relational Quantum Mechanics in terms of mereological bundle theory. The essential idea is to claim that a physical system in RQM can be defined as a mereological fusion of properties whose values may vary for different observers. Abandoning the Aristotelian tradition centered on the notion of substance, I claim that RQM embraces an ontology of properties that finds its roots in the heritage of David Hume. To this regard, defining what kind (...)
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  5.  9
    On the Classification Between $$psi$$ ψ -Ontic and $$psi$$ ψ -Epistemic Ontological Models.Andrea Oldofredi & Cristian López - 2020 - Foundations of Physics 50 (11):1315-1345.
    Harrigan and Spekkens provided a categorization of quantum ontological models classifying them as \-ontic or \-epistemic if the quantum state \ describes respectively either a physical reality or mere observers’ knowledge. Moreover, they claimed that Einstein—who was a supporter of the statistical interpretation of quantum mechanics—endorsed an epistemic view of \ In this essay we critically assess such a classification and some of its consequences by proposing a twofold argumentation. Firstly, we show that Harrigan and Spekkens’ categorization implicitly assumes that (...)
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  6.  19
    Particles, Cutoffs and Inequivalent Representations: Fraser and Wallace on Quantum Field Theory.Matthias Egg, Vincent Lam & Andrea Oldofredi - 2017 - Foundations of Physics 47 (3):453-466.
    We critically review the recent debate between Doreen Fraser and David Wallace on the interpretation of quantum field theory, with the aim of identifying where the core of the disagreement lies. We show that, despite appearances, their conflict does not concern the existence of particles or the occurrence of unitarily inequivalent representations. Instead, the dispute ultimately turns on the very definition of what a quantum field theory is. We further illustrate the fundamental differences between the two approaches by comparing them (...)
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  7.  52
    From the Universe to Subsystems: Why Quantum Mechanics Appears More Stochastic Than Classical Mechanics.Andrea Oldofredi, Dustin Lazarovici, Dirk-André Deckert & Michael Esfeld - 2016 - Fluctuation and Noise Letters 15 (3).
    By means of the examples of classical and Bohmian quantum mechanics, we illustrate the well-known ideas of Boltzmann as to how one gets from laws defined for the universe as a whole to dynamical relations describing the evolution of subsystems. We explain how probabilities enter into this process, what quantum and classical probabilities have in common and where exactly their difference lies.
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  8.  69
    What is Matter? The Fundamental Ontology of Atomism and Structural Realism.Michael Esfeld, Dirk-André Deckert & Andrea Oldofredi - forthcoming - In B. Lower and A. Ijjas (ed.), A guide to the philosophy of Cosmology. Oxford University Press.
    We set out a fundamental ontology of atomism in terms of matter points. While being most parsimonious, this ontology is able to match both classical and quantum mechanics, and it remains a viable option for any future theory of cosmology that goes beyond current quantum physics. The matter points are structurally individuated: all there is to them are the spatial relations in which they stand; neither a commitment to intrinsic properties nor to an absolute space is required. The spatial relations (...)
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  9.  31
    On the Possibility of a Realist Ontological Commitment in Quantum Mechanics.Andrea Oldofredi & Michael Andreas Esfeld - 2018 - Tropos. Journal of Hermeneutics and Philosophical Criticism 11 (1):11-33.
    This paper reviews the structure of standard quantum mechanics, introducing the basics of the von Neumann-Dirac axiomatic formulation as well as the well-known Copenhagen interpretation. We review also the major conceptual difficulties arising from this theory, first and foremost, the well-known measurement problem. The main aim of this essay is to show the possibility to solve the conundrums affecting quantum mechanics via the methodology provided by the primitive ontology approach. Using Bohmian mechanics as an example, the paper argues for a (...)
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  10.  11
    Stochasticity and Bell-Type Quantum Field Theory.Andrea Oldofredi - 2020 - Synthese 197 (2):731-750.
    This paper critically discusses an objection proposed by Nikolić against the naturalness of the stochastic dynamics implemented by the Bell-type quantum field theory, an extension of Bohmian mechanics able to describe the phenomena of particles creation and annihilation. Here I present: Nikolić’s ideas for a pilot-wave theory accounting for QFT phenomenology evaluating the robustness of his criticism, Bell’s original proposal for a Bohmian QFT with a particle ontology and the mentioned Bell-type QFT. I will argue that although Bell’s model should (...)
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  11.  13
    We Are All Bayesian, Everyone is Not a Bayesian.Mattia Andreoletti & Andrea Oldofredi - 2019 - Topoi 38 (2):477-485.
    Medical research makes intensive use of statistics in order to support its claims. In this paper we make explicit an epistemological tension between the conduct of clinical trials and their interpretation: statistical evidence is sometimes discarded on the basis of an underlined Bayesian reasoning. We suggest that acknowledging the potentiality of Bayesian statistics might contribute to clarify and improve comprehension of medical research. Nevertheless, despite Bayesianism may provide a better account for scientific inference with respect to the standard frequentist approach, (...)
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  12.  22
    No-Go Theorems and the Foundations of Quantum Physics.Andrea Oldofredi - 2018 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 49 (3):355-370.
    In the history of quantum physics several no-go theorems have been proved, and many of them have played a central role in the development of the theory, such as Bell’s or the Kochen–Specker theorem. A recent paper by F. Laudisa has raised reasonable doubts concerning the strategy followed in proving some of these results, since they rely on the standard framework of quantum mechanics, a theory that presents several ontological problems. The aim of this paper is twofold: on the one (...)
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  13.  17
    Particle Creation and Annihilation: Two Bohmian Approaches.Andrea Oldofredi - 2018 - Lato Sensu, Revue de la Société de Philosophie des Sciences 5 (1):77-85.
    This paper reviews and discusses two extensions of Bohmian Mechanics to the phenomena of particle creation and annihilation typically observed in Quantum Field Theory : the so-called Bell-type Quantum Field Theory and the Dirac Sea representation. These theories have a secure metaphysical basis as they postulate a particle ontology while satisfying the requirements imposed by the Primitive Ontology approach to quantum physics. Furthermore, their methodological perspective intentionally provides a set of rules to immunize physical theories to the conceptual and technical (...)
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  14.  8
    Relational Quantum Mechanics and the PBR Theorem: A Peaceful Coexistence.Andrea Oldofredi & Caludio Calosi - 2021 - Foundations of Physics 51 (4):1-21.
    According to Relational Quantum Mechanics the wave function \ is considered neither a concrete physical item evolving in spacetime, nor an object representing the absolute state of a certain quantum system. In this interpretative framework, \ is defined as a computational device encoding observers’ information; hence, RQM offers a somewhat epistemic view of the wave function. This perspective seems to be at odds with the PBR theorem, a formal result excluding that wave functions represent knowledge of an underlying reality described (...)
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  15.  17
    Some Remarks on the Mentalistic Reformulation of the Measurement Problem: A Reply to S. Gao.Andrea Oldofredi - 2019 - Synthese 198 (2):1-17.
    Gao presents a new mentalistic reformulation of the well-known measurement problem affecting the standard formulation of quantum mechanics. According to this author, it is essentially a determinate-experience problem, namely a problem about the compatibility between the linearity of the Schrödinger’s equation, the fundamental law of quantum theory, and definite experiences perceived by conscious observers. In this essay I aim to clarify that the well-known measurement problem is a mathematical consequence of quantum theory’s formalism, and that its mentalistic variant does not (...)
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