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The Measurement Problem and two Dogmas about Quantum Mechanics

Felline, Laura (2019) The Measurement Problem and two Dogmas about Quantum Mechanics. [Preprint]

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Abstract

According to a nowadays widely discussed analysis by Itamar Pitowsky, the theoretical problems of QT are originated from two ‘dogmas’: the first forbidding the use of the notion of measurement in the fundamental axioms of the theory; the second imposing an interpretation of the quantum state as representing a system’s objectively possessed properties and evolution. In this paper I argue that, contrarily to Pitowsky analysis, depriving the quantum state of its ontological commitment is not sufficient to solve the conceptual issues that affect the foundations of QT.
In order to test Pitowsky’s analysis I make use of an argument elaborated by Amit Hagar and Meir Hemmo, showing how some probabilistic interpretations of QT fail at dictating coherent predictions in Wigner’s Friend situations. More specifically, I evaluate three different probabilistic approaches: qBism, as a representative of the epistemic subjective interpretation of the quantum state; Jeff Bub’s information-theoretic interpretation of QT, as an example of the ontic approach to the quantum state; Itamar Pitowsky’s probabilistic interpretation, as an epistemic but objective interpretation. I argue that qBism succeeds in providing a formal solution to the problem that does not lead to a self-contradictory picture, although the resulting interpretation leads to an interpretation where the real subject matter of QT clashes alarmingly with scientific practice. The other two approaches, instead, strictly fail in Wigner’s Friend scenarios, showing in such a way that they don’t provide a genuine solution to the problem.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
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Felline, Laura
Keywords: measurement problem, dogmas of quantum theory, psi-ontic, psi-epistemic, Wigner's Friend
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Computation/Information > Quantum
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Mechanics
Depositing User: Laura Felline
Date Deposited: 19 Jul 2019 01:43
Last Modified: 19 Jul 2019 01:43
Item ID: 16238
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Computation/Information > Quantum
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Mechanics
Date: 2019
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/16238

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