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Scientific Realism meets Metaphysics of Quantum Mechanics

Saatsi, Juha (2017) Scientific Realism meets Metaphysics of Quantum Mechanics. [Preprint]

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Abstract

I examine the epistemological debate on scientific realism in the context of quantum physics, focusing on the empirical underdetermin- ation of different formulations and interpretations of QM. I will argue that much of the interpretational, metaphysical work on QM tran- scends the kinds of realist commitments that are well-motivated in the light of the history of science. I sketch a way of demarcating empirically well-confirmed aspects of QM from speculative quantum metaphysics in a way that coheres with anti-realist evidence from the history of science. The minimal realist attitude sketched withholds realist com- mitment to what quantum state |Ψ⟩ represents. I argue that such commitment is not required for fulfilling the ultimate realist motiva- tion: accounting for the empirical success of quantum mechanics in a way that is in tune with a broader understanding of how theoretical science progresses and latches onto reality.


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Item Type: Preprint
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Saatsi, Juha
Additional Information: Forthcoming in Philosophers Think About Quantum Theory, Alberto Cordero (ed.), Springer. Presented at XII International Ontology Congress in San Sebastian.
Keywords: Scientific realism; Quantum mechanics; Underdetermination
Subjects: General Issues > Scientific Metaphysics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Mechanics
General Issues > Realism/Anti-realism
Depositing User: Juha Saatsi
Date Deposited: 20 Apr 2018 12:14
Last Modified: 20 Apr 2018 12:14
Item ID: 14583
Subjects: General Issues > Scientific Metaphysics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Mechanics
General Issues > Realism/Anti-realism
Date: 7 August 2017
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/14583

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