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Making Sense of Non-Individuals in Quantum Mechanics

Arenhart, Jonas R. B. and Bueno, Otávio and Krause, Décio (2018) Making Sense of Non-Individuals in Quantum Mechanics. [Preprint]

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Abstract

In this work, we focus on a very specific case study: assuming that quantum theories deal with “particles” of some kind (point particles in orthodox non-relativistic quantum mechanics, field excitations in quantum field theories), what kind of entity can such particles be? One possible answer, the one we shall examine here, is that they are not the usual kind of object found in daily life: individuals. Rather, we follow a suggestion by Erwin Schrödinger, according to which quantum mechanics poses a revolutionary kind of entity: non-individuals. While physics, as a scientific field, is not concerned with whether entities posited by a specific physical theory are individuals or not, answering this question is part of the quest for a better understanding of physical reality. Here lies, in large measure, the relevance of ontology.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Arenhart, Jonas R. B.jonas.becker2@gmail.cpm
Bueno, Otáviootaviobueno@mac.com
Krause, Déciodeciokrause@gmail.com
Keywords: non-individuals, identity, individuality, individuation, quantum mechanics
Subjects: General Issues > Scientific Metaphysics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Mechanics
Depositing User: Décio Krause
Date Deposited: 30 Jun 2018 08:55
Last Modified: 30 Jun 2018 08:55
Item ID: 14830
Subjects: General Issues > Scientific Metaphysics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Mechanics
Date: 29 June 2018
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/14830

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