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The Power of Inconsistency in Anti-Realist Realisms about Quantum Mechanics (Or: Lessons on How to Capture and Defeat Smoky Dragons)

de Ronde, Christian (2021) The Power of Inconsistency in Anti-Realist Realisms about Quantum Mechanics (Or: Lessons on How to Capture and Defeat Smoky Dragons). [Preprint]

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Abstract

In this work we argue that the power and effectiveness of the Bohrian approach to quantum mechanics is grounded on an inconsistent form of anti-realist realism which is responsible not only for the uncritical tolerance —in physics— towards the “standard” account of the theory of quanta, but also —in philosophy— of the alarming reproduction of quantum narratives. Niels Bohr’s creative methodology can be exposed through the analysis of what John Archibald Wheeler called “the great smoky dragon”. We will discuss the existence of such dragons within the “minimal interpretation” applied by physicists in the orthodox textbook formulation of quantum mechanics as well as within the many “supplementary interpretations” introduced by philosophers —or philosophically inclined physicists— in order to solve the infamous measurement problem. After analyzing the role of smoky dragons within both contemporary physics and philosophy of physics we will propose a general procedure grounded on a series of necessary theoretical conditions for producing adequate physical concepts that —hopefully— could be used as tools and weapons to capture and defeat these beautiful and powerful creatures.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
de Ronde, Christiancderonde@gmail.com
Keywords: Realism, empiricism, representation, observability, Bohr, quantum mechanics.
Subjects: General Issues > Explanation
General Issues > History of Philosophy of Science
General Issues > Operationalism/Instrumentalism
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Mechanics
General Issues > Realism/Anti-realism
General Issues > Theory/Observation
Depositing User: Christian de Ronde
Date Deposited: 03 Jan 2021 14:28
Last Modified: 03 Jan 2021 14:28
Item ID: 18557
Subjects: General Issues > Explanation
General Issues > History of Philosophy of Science
General Issues > Operationalism/Instrumentalism
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Mechanics
General Issues > Realism/Anti-realism
General Issues > Theory/Observation
Date: 1 January 2021
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/18557

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