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The hypothesis of “hidden variables” as a unifying principle in physics.

Vervoort, Louis (2020) The hypothesis of “hidden variables” as a unifying principle in physics. [Preprint]

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Abstract

In the debate whether ‘hidden variables’ could exist underneath quantum probabilities, the ‘no hidden-variables’ position is at present favored. In this article I attempt to provide a more equilibrated verdict, by pointing towards the heuristic and explanatory power of the hidden-variables hypothesis, in particular in its deterministic form. I argue that this hypothesis can answer three foundational questions, whereas the opposing thesis (‘no hidden variables’) remains entirely silent for them. These questions are: 1) How to interpret probabilistic correlation ? (a question considered by Kolmogorov “one of the most important problems in the philosophy of the natural sciences”, and first analysed by Reichenbach); 2) How to interpret the Central Limit Theorem ?; and 3) Are there degrees of freedom that could unify quantum field theories and general relativity, and if so, can we (at least qualitatively) specify them ? It appears that only the hidden-variables hypothesis can provide coherent answers to these problems; answers which can be mathematically justified in the deterministic case. This suggests that the hidden-variables hypothesis should be considered a legitimate candidate as a guiding, unifying principle in the foundations of physics.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Vervoort, Louislouisvervoort@hotmail.com
Keywords: hidden variables; determinism; indeterminism; probability; quantum mechanics; Reichenbach's principle; Central Limit Theorem; Bell's theorem
Subjects: General Issues > Causation
General Issues > Determinism/Indeterminism
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Gravity
Specific Sciences > Probability/Statistics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Mechanics
Depositing User: Dr. Louis Vervoort
Date Deposited: 14 Oct 2020 13:38
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2020 13:38
Item ID: 18223
Subjects: General Issues > Causation
General Issues > Determinism/Indeterminism
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Gravity
Specific Sciences > Probability/Statistics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Mechanics
Date: 3 January 2020
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/18223

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