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Laura Ruetsche
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
  1. Interpreting Quantum Theories: The Art of the Possible.Laura Ruetsche - 2011 - Oxford University Press.
    Philosophers of quantum mechanics have generally addressed exceedingly simple systems. Laura Ruetsche offers a much-needed study of the interpretation of more complicated systems, and an underexplored family of physical theories, such as quantum field theory and quantum statistical mechanics, showing why they repay philosophical attention.
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  2. Interpreting Quantum Field Theory.Laura Ruetsche - 2002 - Philosophy of Science 69 (2):348-378.
    The availability of unitarily inequivalent representations of the canonical commutation relations constituting a quantization of a classical field theory raises questions about how to formulate and pursue quantum field theory. In a minimally technical way, I explain how these questions arise and how advocates of the Hilbert space and of the algebraic approaches to quantum theory might answer them. Where these answers differ, I sketch considerations for and against each approach, as well as considerations which might temper their apparent rivalry.
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  3. Weyling the Time Away: The Non-Unitary Implementability of Quantum Field Dynamics on Curved Spacetime.Aristidis Arageorgis, John Earman & Laura Ruetsche - 2002 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 33 (2):151-184.
    The simplest case of quantum field theory on curved spacetime—that of the Klein–Gordon field on a globally hyperbolic spacetime—reveals a dilemma: In generic circumstances, either there is no dynamics for this quantum field, or else there is a dynamics that is not unitarily implementable. We do not try to resolve the dilemma here, but endeavour to spell out the consequences of seizing one or the other horn of the dilemma.
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  4.  97
    The Shaky Game +25, Or: On Locavoracity.Laura Ruetsche - 2015 - Synthese 192 (11):3425-3442.
    Taking Arthur Fine’s The Shaky Game as my inspiration, and the recent 25th anniversary of the publication of that work as the occasion to exercise that inspiration, I sketch an alternative to the “Naturalism” prevalent among philosophers of physics. Naturalism is a methodology eventuating in a metaphysics. The methodology is to seek the deep framework assumptions that make the best sense of science; the metaphysics is furnished by those assumptions and supported by their own support of science. The alternative presented (...)
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  5. Johnny’s So Long at the Ferromagnet.Laura Ruetsche - 2006 - Philosophy of Science 73 (5):473-486.
    Starting from the standard quantum formalism for a single spin 1/2 system (e.g., an electron), this essay develops a model rich enough not only to afford an explication of symmetry breaking but also to frame questions about how to circumscribe physical possibility on behalf of theories that countenance symmetry breaking.
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  6.  13
    Renormalization Group Realism: The Ascent of Pessimism.Laura Ruetsche - forthcoming - Philosophy of Science.
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  7.  99
    A Matter of Degree: Putting Unitary Inequivalence to Work.Laura Ruetsche - 2002 - Philosophy of Science 70 (5):1329-1342.
    If a classical system has infinitely many degrees of freedom, its Hamiltonian quantization need not be unique up to unitary equivalence. I sketch different approaches (Hilbert space and algebraic) to understanding the content of quantum theories in light of this non‐uniqueness, and suggest that neither approach suffices to support explanatory aspirations encountered in the thermodynamic limit of quantum statistical mechanics.
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  8.  28
    Fulling Non‐Uniqueness and the Unruh Effect: A Primer on Some Aspects of Quantum Field Theory.Aristidis Arageorgis, John Earman & Laura Ruetsche - 2003 - Philosophy of Science 70 (1):164-202.
    We discuss the intertwined topics of Fulling non‐uniqueness and the Unruh effect. The Fulling quantization, which is in some sense the natural one for an observer uniformly accelerated through Minkowski spacetime to adopt, is often heralded as a quantization of the Klein‐Gordon field which is both physically relevant and unitarily inequivalent to the standard Minkowski quantization. We argue that the Fulling and Minkowski quantizations do not constitute a satisfactory example of physically relevant, unitarily inequivalent quantizations, and indicate what it would (...)
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  9.  56
    The Hawking Information Loss Paradox: The Anatomy of a Controversy.Gordon Belot, John Earman & Laura Ruetsche - 1999 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 50 (2):189-229.
    Stephen Hawking has argued that universes containing evaporating black holes can evolve from pure initial states to mixed final ones. Such evolution is non-unitary and so contravenes fundamental quantum principles on which Hawking's analysis was based. It disables the retrodiction of the universe's initial state from its final one, and portends the time-asymmetry of quantum gravity. Small wonder that Hawking's paradox has met with considerable resistance. Here we use a simple result for C*-algebras to offer an argument for pure-to-mixed state (...)
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  10.  60
    Virtue and Contingent History: Possibilities for Feminist Epistemology.Laura Ruetsche - 2004 - Hypatia 19 (1):73-101.
    : Some feminist epistemologists make the radical claim that there are varieties of epistemically valid warrant that agents access only through having lived particular types of contingent history, varieties of epistemic warrant to which, moreover, the confirmation-theoretic accounts of warrant favored by some traditional epistemologists are inapplicable. I offer Aristotelian virtue as a model for warrant of this sort, and use loosely Aristotelian vocabulary to express, and begin to evaluate, a range of feminist epistemological positions.
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  11.  18
    Intrinsically Mixed States: An Appreciation.Laura Ruetsche - 2004 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 35 (2):221-239.
    An “intrinsically mixed” state is a mixed state of a system that is ‘orthogonal’ to every pure state of that system. Although the presence of such states in the quantum theories of infinite systems is well known to those who work with such theories, intrinsically mixed states are virtually unheralded in the philosophical literature. Rob Clifton was thoroughly familiar with intrinsically mixed states. I aim here to introduce them to a wider audience—and to encourage that audience to cultivate their acquaintance (...)
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  12.  29
    Interpreting Probabilities in Quantum Field Theoryand Quantum Statistical Mechanics.Laura Ruetsche & John Earman - 2011 - In Claus Beisbart & Stephan Hartmann (eds.), Probabilities in Physics. Oxford University Press. pp. 263.
    Philosophical accounts of quantum theory commonly suppose that the observables of a quantum system form a Type-I factor von Neumann algebra. Such algebras always have atoms, which are minimal projection operators in the case of quantum mechanics. However, relativistic quantum field theory and the thermodynamic limit of quantum statistical mechanics make extensive use of von Neumann algebras of more general types. This chapter addresses the question whether interpretations of quantum probability devised in the usual manner continue to apply in the (...)
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  13.  53
    Contingent Natures and Virtuous Knowers: Could Epistemology Be 'Gendered'?Rebecca Kukla & Laura Ruetsche - 2002 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 32 (3):389 - 418.
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  14.  77
    Relativistic Invariance and Modal Interpretations.John Earman & Laura Ruetsche - 2005 - Philosophy of Science 72 (4):557-583.
    A number of arguments have been given to show that the modal interpretation of ordinary nonrelativistic quantum mechanics cannot be consistently extended to the relativistic setting. We find these arguments inconclusive. However, there is a prima facie reason to think that a tension exists between the modal interpretation and relativistic invariance; namely, the best candidate for a modal interpretation adapted to relativistic quantum field theory, a prescription due to Rob Clifton, comes out trivial when applied to a number of systems (...)
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  15. 1. Preface Preface (Pp. I-Ii).Laura Ruetsche, Chris Smeenk, Branden Fitelson, Patrick Maher, Martin Thomson‐Jones, Bas C. van Fraassen, Steven French, Juha Saatsi, Stathis Psillos & Katherine Brading - 2006 - Philosophy of Science 73 (5).
     
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  16.  40
    Changing the Subject: Redei on Causal Dependence and Screening Off in Relativistic Quantum Field Theory.Rob Clifton & Laura Ruetsche - 1999 - Philosophy of Science 66 (3):169.
    In a pair of articles (1996, 1997) and in his recent book (1998), Miklos Redei has taken enormous strides toward characterizing the conditions under which relativistic quantum field theory is a safe setting for the deployment of causal talk. Here, we challenge the adequacy of the accounts of causal dependence and screening off on which rests the relevance of Redei's theorems to the question of causal good behavior in the theory.
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  17.  59
    Philosophical Aspects of Quantum Field Theory: II.Laura Ruetsche - 2012 - Philosophy Compass 7 (8):571-584.
    According to a regnant criterion of physical equivalence for quantum theories, a quantum field theory (QFT) typically admits continuously many physically inequivalent realizations. This, the second of a two-part introduction to topics in the philosophy of QFT, continues the investigation of this alarming circumstance. It begins with a brief catalog of quantum field theoretic examples of this non-uniqueness, then presents the basics of the algebraic approach to quantum theories, which discloses a structure common even to ‘physically inequivalent’ realizations of a (...)
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  18.  51
    Why Be Normal?Laura Ruetsche - 2011 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 42 (2):107-115.
    A normal state on a von Neumann algebra defines a countably additive probability measure over its projection lattice. The von Neumann algebras familiar from ordinary QM are algebras of all the bounded operators on a Hilbert space H, aka Type I factor von Neumann algebras. Their normal states are density operator states, and can be pure or mixed. In QFT and the thermodynamic limit of QSM, von Neumann algebras of more exotic types abound. Type III von Neumann algebras, for instance, (...)
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  19.  5
    Virtue and Contingent History: Possibilities for Feminist Epistemology.Laura Ruetsche - 2004 - Hypatia 19 (1):73-101.
    Some feminist epistemologists make the radical claim that there are varieties of epistemically valid warrant that agents access only through having lived particular types of contigent history, varieties of epistemic warrant to which, moreover, the confirmation-theoretic accounts of warrant favored by some traditional epistemologists are inapplicable. I offer Aristotelian virtue as a model for warrant of this sort, and use loosely Aristotelian vocabulary to express, and begin to evaluate, a range of feminist epistemological positions.
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  20.  65
    Van Fraassen on Preparation and Measurement.Laura Ruetsche - 1996 - Philosophy of Science 63 (3):346.
    Van Fraassen's 1991 modal interpretation of Quantum Mechanics offers accounts of measurement and state preparation. I argue that both accounts overlook a class of interactions I call General Unitary Measurements, or GUMs. Ironically, GUMs are significant for van Fraassen's account of measurement because they challenge it, and significant for his account of preparation because they simplify it. Van Fraassen's oversight prompts a question about modal interpretations: developed to account for ideal measurement outcomes, can they consistently account as well for the (...)
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  21.  41
    Philosophical Aspects of Quantum Field Theory: I.Laura Ruetsche - 2012 - Philosophy Compass 7 (8):559-570.
    This is the first of a two-part introduction to some interpretive questions that arise in connection with quantum field theories (QFTs). Some of these questions are continuous with those familiar from the discussion of ordinary non-relativistic quantum mechanics (QM). For example, questions about locality can be rigorously posed and fruitfully pursued within the framework of QFT. A stark disanalogy between QFTs and ordinary QM – the former, but not the latter, typically admit infinitely many putatively physically inequivalent realizations – prompts (...)
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  22.  58
    Modal Semantics, Modal Dynamics and the Problem of State Preparation.Laura Ruetsche - 2003 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 17 (1):25 – 41.
    It has been suggested that the Modal Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics (QM) is "incomplete" if it lacks a dynamics for possessed values. I argue that this is only one of two possible attitudes one might adopt toward a Modal Interpretation without dynamics. According to the other attitude, such an interpretation is a complete interpretation of QM as standardly formulated, an interpretation whose innovation is to attempt to make sense of the quantum realm without the expedient of novel physics. Then I (...)
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  23.  27
    Infinitely Challenging: Pitowsky's Subjective Interpretation and the Physics of Infinite Systems.Laura Ruetsche & John Earman - 2011 - In Yemima Ben-Menahem & Meir Hemmo (eds.), Probability in Physics. Springer. pp. 219--232.
    On Itamar Pitowsky’s subjective interpretation of quantum mechanics, “the Hilbert space formalism of quantum mechanics [QM] is just a new kind of probability theory”, one whose probabilities correspond to odds rational agents would accept on the outcomes of gambles concerning quantum event structures. Our aim here is to ask whether Pitowsky’s approach can be extended from its original context, of quantum theories for systems with an finite number of degrees of freedom, to systems with an infinite number of degrees of (...)
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  24.  3
    Van Fraassen on Preparation and Measurement.Laura Ruetsche - 1996 - Philosophy of Science 63 (5):S338-S346.
    Van Fraassen's 1991 modal interpretation of Quantum Mechanics offers accounts of measurement and state preparation. I argue that both accounts overlook a class of interactions I call General Unitary Measurements, or GUMs. Ironically, GUMs are significant for van Fraassen's account of measurement because they challenge it, and significant for his account of preparation because they simplify it. Van Fraassen's oversight prompts a question about modal interpretations: developed to account for ideal measurement outcomes, can they consistently account as well for the (...)
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  25.  6
    Gender and Boyle's Law of Gases (Review).Laura Ruetsche - 2004 - Hypatia 19 (1):297-302.
  26.  11
    Jeff Bub, Interpretting the Quantum World. [REVIEW]Laura Ruetsche - 1998 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 49 (4):637-641.
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  27.  2
    Contingent Natures and Virtuous Knowers: Could Epistemology Be "Gendered"?Rebecca Kukla & Laura Ruetsche - 2002 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 32 (3):389-418.
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  28.  8
    Book Review: Elizabeth Potter. Gender and Boyle's Law of Gases. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. 2001. [REVIEW]Laura Ruetsche - 2004 - Hypatia 19 (1):297-302.
  29.  2
    Interpreting Bodies.Laura Ruetsche - 2000 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 31 (3):413-417.
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  30. Reviews-Interpreting the Quantum World.Jeffrey Bub & Laura Ruetsche - 1998 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 49 (4):637-641.
     
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  31. Science at Centurys End: Philosophical Questions on the Progress and Limits of S.Martin Carrier, Laura Ruetsche & Gerald J. Massey (eds.) - 2004 - University of Pittsburgh Press.
    To most laypersons and scientists, science and progress appear to go hand in hand, yet philosophers and historians of science have long questioned the inevitability of this pairing. As we take leave of a century acclaimed for scientific advances and progress, Science at Century's End, the eighth volume of the Pittsburgh-Konstanz Series in the Philosophy and History of Science, takes the reader to the heart of this important matter. Subtitled Philosophical Questions on the Progress and Limits of Science, this timely (...)
     
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  32. Science at Century's End Philosophical Questions on the Progress and Limits of Science.Martin Carrier, Gerald J. Massey, Laura Ruetsche & Pittsburgh-Konstanz Colloquium in the Philosophy of Science - 2000
     
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  33. Foundations of Statistical Physics, Spacetime Theories, and Quantum Field Theory-Changing the Subject: Redei on Causal Dependence and Screening Off in Relativistic Quantum Field Theory.Rob Clifton & Laura Ruetsche - 1999 - Philosophy of Science 66 (3).
     
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  34. 10. Can Philosophy Offer Help in Resolving Contemporary Biological Controversies?Laura Ruetsche, Chris Smeenk, Branden Fitelson, Patrick Maher, Martin Thomson‐Jones, Bas C. van Fraassen, Steven French, Juha Saatsi, Stathis Psillos & Katherine Brading - 2006 - In Borchert (ed.), Philosophy of Science. Macmillan.
  35. On the Verge of Collapse: Modal Interpretations of Quantum Mechanics.Laura Ruetsche - 1995 - Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh
    The conjunction of Schrodinger dynamics and the usual way of thinking about the conditions under which quantum systems exhibit determinate values implies that measurements don't have outcomes. The orthodox fix to this quantum measurement problem is von Neumann's postulate of measurement collapse, which suspends Schrodinger dynamics in measurement contexts. Contending that the fundamental dynamical law of quantum theory breaks down every time we test the theory empirically, the collapse postulate is unsatisfactory. Recently philosophers and physicists have proposed a less violent (...)
     
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