A recent ontological variant of Cramer’s Transactional Interpretation, called “Possibilist Transactional Interpretation” or PTI, is extended to the relativistic domain. The present interpretation clarifies the concept of ‘absorption,’ which plays a crucial role in TI (and in PTI). In particular, in the relativistic domain, coupling amplitudes between fields are interpreted as amplitudes for the generation of confirmation waves (CW) by a potential absorber in response to offer waves (OW), whereas in the nonrelativistic context CW are taken as generated with certainty. (...) It is pointed out that solving the measurement problem requires venturing into the relativistic domain in which emissions and absorptions take place; nonrelativistic quantum mechanics only applies to quanta considered as ‘already in existence’ (i.e., ‘free quanta’), and therefore cannot fully account for the phenomenon of measurement, in which quanta are tied to sources and sinks. (shrink)
Tim Maudlin’s argument for the inconsistency of Cramer’s Transactional Interpretation (TI) of quantum theory has been considered in some detail by Joseph Berkovitz, who has provided a possible solution to this challenge at the cost of a significant empirical lacuna on the part of TI. The present paper proposes an alternative solution in which Maudlin’s charge of inconsistency is evaded but at no cost of empirical content on the part of TI. However, Maudlin’s argument is taken as ruling out Cramer’s (...) heuristic “pseudotime” explanation of the realization of one transaction out of many. (shrink)
In attempting to derive irreversible macroscopic thermodynamics from reversible microscopic dynamics, Boltzmann inadvertently smuggled in a premise that assumed the very irreversibility he was trying to prove: ‘molecular chaos.’ The program of ‘Einselection’ within Everettian approaches faces a similar ‘Loschmidt’s Paradox’: the universe, according to the Everettian picture, is a closed system obeying only unitary dynamics, and it therefore contains no distinguishable environmental subsystems with the necessary ‘phase randomness’ to effect einselection of a pointer observable. The theoretically unjustified assumption of (...) distinguishable environmental subsystems is the hidden premise that makes the derivation of einselection circular. In effect, it presupposes the ‘emergent’ structures from the beginning. Thus the problem of basis ambiguity remains unsolved in Everettian interpretations. (shrink)
It is argued that the Heisenberg picture of standard quantum mechanics does not save Einstein locality as claimed in Deutsch and Hayden (Proc. R. Soc. Lond. A 456, 1759–1774, 2000). In particular, the EPR-type correlations that the authors obtain by comparing two qubits in a local manner are shown to exist before that comparison. In view of this result, the local comparison argument would appear to be ineffective in supporting their locality claim.
It is proposed that the recent controversy over "time-symmetric quantum counterfactuals" (TSQCs), based on the Aharonov-Bergmann-Lebowitz Rule for measurements of pre- and post-selected systems, can be clarified by taking TSQCs to be counterfactuals with a specific type of compound antecedent. In that case, inconsistency proofs such as that of Sharp and Shanks (1993) are not applicable, and the main issue becomes not whether such statements are true, but whether they are nontrivial. The latter question is addressed and answered in the (...) negative. Thus it is concluded that TSQCs, understood as counterfactuals with a compound antecedent, are true but only trivially so, and provide no new contingent information about specific quantum systems (except in special cases already identified in literature). (shrink)
It is pointed out that a slight variation on the Wheeler Delayed Choice Experiment presents the same challenge to orthodox quantum mechanics as Maudlin-type contingent absorber experiments present to the Transactional Interpretation. Therefore, the latter cannot be used as a basis for refutation of TI.
It is hypothesized that de Broglie’s ‘matter waves’ provide a dynamical basis for Minkowski spacetime in an antisubstantivalist or relational account. The relativity of simultaneity is seen as an effect of the de Broglie oscillation together with a basic relativity postulate, while the dispersion relation from finite rest mass gives rise to the differentiation of spatial and temporal axes. Thus spacetime is seen as not fundamental, but rather as emergent from the quantum level. A result by Solov’ev which demonstrates that (...) time is not an applicable concept at the quantum level is adduced in support of this claim. Finally, it is noted that de Broglie waves can be seen as the “bridge of becoming” discussed by ( 2005 ). (shrink)
Lewis has recently argued that Maudlin׳s contingent absorber experiment remains a significant problem for the Transactional Interpretation . He argues that the only straightforward way to resolve the challenge is by describing the absorbers as offer waves, and asserts that this is a previously unnoticed aspect of the challenge for TI. This argument is refuted in two basic ways: it is noted that the Maudlin experiment cannot be meaningfully recast with absorbers described by quantum states; instead the author replaces it (...) with an ordinary which-way experiment; and the extant rebuttals to the Maudlin challenge in its original form are not in fact subject to the alleged flaws that Lewis ascribes to them. This paper further seeks to clarify the issues raised in Lewis’ presentation concerning the distinction between quantum systems and macroscopic objects in TI. It is noted that the latest, possibilist version of TI has no ambiguity concerning macroscopic absorbers. In particular, macroscopic objects are not subject to indeterminate trajectories, since they are continually undergoing collapse. It is concluded that the Maudlin challenge poses no significant problem for the transactional interpretation. (shrink)
The "N-box experiment" is a much-discussed thought experiment in quantum mechanics. It is claimed by some authors that a single particle prepared in a superposition of N+1 box locations and which is subject to a final "post-selection" measurement corresponding to a different superposition can be said to have occupied "with certainty" N boxes during the intervening time. However, others have argued that under closer inspection, this surprising claim fails to hold. Aharonov and Vaidman have continued their advocacy of the claim (...) in question by proposing a variation on the N-box experiment, in which the boxes are replaced by shutters and the pre- and post-selected particle is entangled with a photon. These authors argue that the resulting "N-shutter experiment" strengthens their original claim regarding the N-box experiment. It is argued in this article that the apparently surprising features of this variation are no more robust than those of the N-box experiment and that it is not accurate to say that the particle is "with certainty" in all N shutters at any given time. [Enlarge Image]. (shrink)
This essay provides a historical, philosophical, and critical overview of the development of the transactional interpretation of quantum mechanics. It is separated into two parts. Part I presents the history and development of TI from 1986 up to 2016. Part II lays out current areas of divergence among researchers in TI.
The attractive feature of the Everett approach is its admirable spirit of approaching the quantum puzzle with a Zen-like "beginner’s mind" in order to try to envision what the pure formalism might be saying about quantum reality, even if that journey leads to a strange place. It is argued that the transactional interpretation of quantum mechanics (TI), appropriately interpreted, shares the same motivation and achieves much more, with far fewer conceptual perplexities, by taking into account heretofore overlooked features of the (...) quantum formalism itself (i.e. advanced states). In particular, TI does not need to talk about brain states, consciousness, or observers (rational or otherwise). In its possibilist variant (“PTI”), it shares the realist virtues of treating state vector branches as genuine dynamical entities, without having to explain how or why all of their associated outcomes actually happen (they don’t), how to account for a plenitude of counterpart observers in some coherent notion of trans-temporal identity of the bifurcating observers (observers don’t bifurcate in TI), nor how the certainty of all outcomes could be consistent with any coherent theory of probability, let alone the Born probability (the Born probability emerges naturally in TI). In short, TI is precisely the one-world interpretation Kent is looking for in his (2010). (shrink)
Abstract In this article, we investigate the merits of an enactive view of cognition for the contemporary debate about social cognition. If enactivism is to be a genuine alternative to classic cognitivism, it should be able to bridge the “cognitive gap”, i.e. provide us with a convincing account of those higher forms of cognition that have traditionally been the focus of its cognitivist opponents. We show that, when it comes to social cognition, current articulations of enactivism are—despite their celebrated successes (...) in explaining some cases of social interaction—not yet up to the task. This is because they (1) do not pay sufficient attention to the role of offline processing or “decoupling”, and (2) obscure the cognitive gap by overemphasizing the role of phenomenology. We argue that the main challenge for the enactive view will be to acknowledge the importance of both coupled (online) and decoupled (offline) processes for basic and advanced forms of (social) cognition. To meet this challenge, we articulate a dynamic embodied view of cognition. We illustrate the fruitfulness of this approach by recourse to recent findings on false belief understanding. Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-23 DOI 10.1007/s11097-011-9223-1 Authors Leon C. de Bruin, Department of Philosophy II, Ruhr-University Bochum, Universitätsstr. 150, 44801 Bochum, Germany Lena Kästner, Department of Philosophy II, Ruhr-University Bochum, Universitätsstr. 150, 44801 Bochum, Germany Journal Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences Online ISSN 1572-8676 Print ISSN 1568-7759. (shrink)
In the libertarian ``agent causation'' view of free will, free choices are attributable only to the choosing agent, as opposed to a specific cause or causes outside the agent. An often-repeated claim in the philosophical literature on free will is that agent causation necessarily implies lawlessness, and is therefore ``antiscientific." That claim is critiqued and it is argued, on the contrary, that the volitional powers of a free agent need not be viewed as anomic, specifically with regard to the quantum (...) statistical law. Assumptions about the role and nature of causation, taken as bearing on volitional agency, are examined and found inadequate to the task. Finally, it is suggested that quantum theory may constitute precisely the sort of theory required for a nomic grounding of libertarian free will. (shrink)
An apparent paradox proposed by Aharonov and Vaidman in which a single particle can be found with certainty in two (or more) boxes is analyzed by way of a simple thought experiment. It is found that the apparent paradox arises from an invalid counterfactual usage of the Aharonov-Bergmann-Lebowitz (ABL) rule and effectively attributes conflicting properties not to the same particle but no different particles. A connection is made between the present analysis and the consistent histories formulation of Griffiths. Finally, a (...) critique is given of some recent counterarguments by Vaidman against the rejection of the counterfactual usage of the ABL rule. (shrink)
Cramer's Transactional Interpretation (TI) is applied to the ``Quantum Liar Experiment'' (QLE). It is shown how some apparently paradoxical features can be explained naturally, albeit nonlocally (since TI is an explicitly nonlocal interpretation). At the same time, it is proposed that in order to preserve the elegance and economy of the interpretation, it may be necessary to consider offer and confirmation waves as propagating in a ``higher space'' of possibilities.
A relation is obtained between weak values of quantum observables and the consistency criterion for histories of quantum events. It is shown that “strange” weak values for projection operators always correspond to inconsistent families of histories. It is argued that using the ABL rule to obtain probabilities for counterfactual measurements corresponding to those strange weak values gives inconsistent results. This problem is shown to be remedied by using the conditional weight, or pseudo-probability, obtained from the multiple-time application of Lüders’ Rule. (...) It is argued that an assumption of reverse causality implies that weak values obtain, in a restricted sense, at the time of the weak measurement as well as at the time of post-selection. Finally, it is argued that weak values are more appropriately characterized as multiple-time amplitudes than expectation values, and as such can have little to say about counterfactual questions. (shrink)
Time-symmetric interpretations of quantum theory are often presented as featuring "retrocausal" effects in addition to the usual forward notion of causation. This paper examines the ontological implications of certain time- symmetric theories, and finds that no dynamical notion of causation applies to them, either forward or backward. It is concluded that such theories actually describe a static picture, in which the notion of causation is relegated to a descriptor of static relationships among events. In addition, these theories lead to an (...) epistemic rather than ontologically referring, realist view of quantum states. (shrink)
A modified version of Young’s experiment by Shahriar Afshar indirectly reveals the presence of a fully articulated interference pattern prior to the post-selection of a particle in a “which-slit” basis. While this experiment does not constitute a violation of Bohr’s Complementarity Principle as claimed by Afshar, both he and many of his critics incorrectly assume that a commonly used relationship between visibility parameter V and “which-way” parameter K has crucial relevance to his experiment. It is argued here that this relationship (...) does not apply to this experimental situation and that it is wrong to make any use of it in support of claims for or against the bearing of this experiment on Complementarity. (shrink)
A modified version of Young's experiment by Shahriar Afshar demonstrates that, prior to what appears to be a ``which-way'' measurement, an interference pattern exists. Afshar has claimed that this result constitutes a violation of the Principle of Complementarity. This paper discusses the implications of this experiment and considers how Cramer's Transactional Interpretation easily accomodates the result. It is also shown that the Afshar experiment is isomorphic in key respects to a spin one-half particle prepared as ``spin up along x'' and (...) post-selected in a specific state of spin along z. The terminology ``which way'' or ``which-slit'' is critiqued; it is argued that this usage by both Afshar and his critics is misleading and has contributed to confusion surrounding the interpretation of the experiment. Nevertheless, it is concluded that Bohr would have had no more problem accounting for the Afshar result than he would in accounting for the aforementioned pre- and post-selection spin experiment, in which the particle's preparation state is confirmed by a nondestructive measurement prior to post-selection. In addition, some new inferences about the interpretation of delayed choice experiments are drawn from the analysis. (shrink)
A modified version of Young's experiment by Shahriar Afshar demonstrates that, prior to a ``which-way'' measurement indicating which slit a particle goes through, an interference pattern exists. It has been claimed that this result constitutes a violation of the Principle of Complementarity. This paper discusses the implications of this experiment and considers how Cramer's Transactional Interpretation accomodates the result. It is shown that the Afshar experiment is isomorphic in key respects to a a spin one-half particle prepared as ``spin up (...) along x'' and post-selected in a specific state of spin along z. It is concluded that Bohr would have had no more problem accounting for the Afshar result than he would in accounting for the aforementioned pre- and post-selection spin experiment, in which the particle's preparation state is confirmed by a nondestructive measurement prior to post-selection. (shrink)
A recent ontological modification of Cramer’s Transactional Interpretation, called “Possibilist Transactional Interpretation” or PTI, is extended to the relativistic domain. The present interpretation clarifies the concept of ‘absorption,’ which plays a crucial role in TI. In particular, in the relativistic domain, coupling amplitudes between fields are interpreted as amplitudes for the generation of confirmation waves by a potential absorber in response to offer waves, whereas in the nonrelativistic context CW are taken as generated with certainty. It is pointed out that (...) solving the measurement problem requires venturing into the relativistic domain in which emissions and absorptions take place; nonrelativistic quantum mechanics only applies to quanta considered as ‘already in existence’, and therefore cannot fully account for the phenomenon of measurement, in which quanta are tied to sources and sinks. (shrink)
The title of Kastner’s article is “Beyond Complementarity” (R. E. Kastner 6 March 2016 Foundations of Physics Group, University of Maryland, College Park, USA) -/- In this paper, there are quite many ideas similar to my ideas. The main ideas are the following: -/- - Bohr’s complementarity does not work: “’Complementarity’ cannot consistently account for the emergence of classicality from the quantum level (p. 1) - It is argued that ultimately this problem arises from Bohr’s implicit assumption that (...) all quantum evolution is unitary; i.e., that there is no real, physical non-unitary collapse. (p. 1) -/- In my works 2002-2008 and later (2010-2106), I argued exactly the same ideas. The non-unitary phenomena in quantum and in the relationship between quantum and classical phenomena means exactly the EDWs! -/- Our world of experience is clearly classical in that we can legitimately consider our lab and macroscopic measuring instruments as inhabiting a well-defined inertial frame. But these are the very phenomena that cry out for explanation in view of that fact that the microscopic quantum objects upon which we experiment, according to the theory describing them, do not inhabit well-defined reference frames. (pp. 3-4) -/- “Our world of experience” means exactly the macro-EW vs. the micro-EW. However, we have to pay attention that “quantum world” means the micro-EW (for particles) and the wave-EW. In section 4, Kastner investigates the “unnecessary” Bohr’s “epistemological and methodological assumptions”. If the reader will read the entire section will have the sensation of reading one of my works! In 2007, and 2008, I analyzed exactly the same notions with almost the same verdict! (shrink)
The writers Thomas Mann and Erich Kästner took in the years between 1933 and 1945 extreme positions of inner and outer emigration, which can be shown concerning autobiographical aspects and concerning their works which they wrote during the time of national socialism. While Kästner, who represents the inner emigration, wrote humorous stories like "Drei Männer im Schnee" and "Der kleine Grenzverkehr", Mann completed his tetralogy of "Joseph und seine Brüder", which deals with the foundation and development of the monotheistic jewish (...) world religion, in France, Switzerland and America where in 1943 he began his dark artist novel "Doktor Faustus", while in Europe internicine warfare and the Shoa were in progress. While Erich Kästner, who was a very engaged political author in the so called Weimar Republic, was captivated during the period of national socialism by his inwardness, Thomas Mann released himself from this attitude in view of the Third Reich and became an emancipated author who was politically engaged and with moral integrity. (shrink)
The essay aims to disclose British sociologist Ruth Levitas’s proposal regarding the thorny issue of the lack of consensus about the definition of the concept of utopia, a issue which, in the Levitas’s view, results in a widespread terminological confusion and in the omnipresent risk of arbitrary selection of the material. After an accurate analysis of the main theoretical and epistemological approaches on the topic, Levitas suggests an inclusive definition which would allow to cross the boundaries imposed by «restrictive» (...) characterizations, for the purpose of creating a higher degree of agreement with regards to what may be included within the concept of "utopia". Too «limitative» definitions would instead lead to misleading conclusions about the destiny and the function of the utopian genre, among which the widespread belief that utopia is in decline or, even worse, definitively disappeared. Finally, Levitas suggests a «sociology of utopia» through an analysis of the correlations between the two form of knowledge, correlations which, in her view, has been repressed for decades. (shrink)