I argue that quantum decoherence—understood as a dynamical process entailed by the standard formalism alone—carries us beyond conceptual aspects of non-relativistic quantum mechanics deemed insurmountable by many contributors to the recent quantum gravity and cosmology literature. These aspects include various incarnations of the measurement problem and of the quantum -to-classical puzzle. Not only can such problems be largely bypassed or dissolved without default to a particular interpretation, but theoretical work in relativistic arenas stands to gain substantial physical and philosophical insight (...) by incorporating decoherence phenomena. (shrink)
Quantum decoherence is receiving a great deal of attention today not only in theoretical and experimental physics but also in branches of science as diverse as molecular biology, biochemistry, and even neuropsychology. It is no surprise that it is also beginning to appear in various philosophical debates concerning the fundamental structure of the world. The purpose of this article is primarily to acquaint non-specialists with quantum decoherence and clarify related concepts, and secondly to sketch its possible implications – independent of (...) particular interpretations of quantum mechanics – for broader philosophical debates. For example, decoherence shows that any method of parsing nature into levels or parts cannot be in principle but instead derives from our perception of the world as classical, a perception that is itself sustained by the process of decoherence. (shrink)
Recently I published an article in this journal entitled “Less interpretation and more decoherence in quantum gravity and inflationary cosmology” :1019–1045, 2015). This article generated responses from three pairs of authors: Vassallo and Esfeld :1533–1536, 2015), Okon and Sudarsky :852–879, 2016) and Fortin and Lombardi. In what follows, I reply to the criticisms raised by these authors.