PhilSci Archive

Ad hoc identity, Goyal complementarity, and counting quantum phenomena

Jantzen, Benjamin C. (2020) Ad hoc identity, Goyal complementarity, and counting quantum phenomena. [Preprint]

[img]
Preview
Text
main.pdf

Download (263kB) | Preview

Abstract

I introduce a thin concept of ad hoc identity -- distinct from metaphysical accounts of either relative identity or absolute identity -- and an equally thin account of concepts and their content. According to the latter minimalist view of concepts, the content of a concept has behavioral consequences (though it may not be identical to those consequences), and so content can be bounded if not determined by appeal to linguistic and psychological evidence. In the case of counting practices, this evidence suggests that the number concept depends on a notion of identity at least as strong as ad hoc identity. In the context of nonrelativistic QM in particular, all of the counting procedures appealed to in the existing literature on nonindividuality are shown to involve ad hoc identity. I then show that Goyal Complementarity (Goyal 2019) and the associated derivation of a strong symmetrization principle in QM can be understood in terms ad hoc identity. Specifically, persistence and non-persistence models of quantum processes are seen to be complementary in the sense that they involve two relations of ad hoc identity that occasionally overlap in empirically meaningful ways. Finally, I attempt to draw out consequences for theories of nonindividuality from the above conceptual analysis. The upshot is that counting and definite cardinality are incompatible with nonindividuality, and that none of the counting procedures cited for quantum phenomena offer positive support for an interpretation in terms of nonindividuals.


Export/Citation: EndNote | BibTeX | Dublin Core | ASCII/Text Citation (Chicago) | HTML Citation | OpenURL
Social Networking:
Share |

Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Jantzen, Benjamin C.bjantzen@vt.edu
Additional Information: To appear in _Individuals and Non-Individuals in Quantum Mechanics_, a volume in the Synthese Library.
Keywords: particle individuality, identity, cardinality, nonindividual, complementarity
Subjects: General Issues > Scientific Metaphysics
Specific Sciences > Cognitive Science > Concepts and Representations
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Mechanics
Depositing User: Benjamin Jantzen
Date Deposited: 07 Dec 2020 15:53
Last Modified: 07 Dec 2020 15:53
Item ID: 18487
Subjects: General Issues > Scientific Metaphysics
Specific Sciences > Cognitive Science > Concepts and Representations
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Mechanics
Date: 2020
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/18487

Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Monthly Downloads for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item