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Quantum metaphysical indeterminacy and worldly incompleteness

Torza, Alessandro (2017) Quantum metaphysical indeterminacy and worldly incompleteness. Synthese, 197. pp. 4251-4264. ISSN 1573-0964


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An influential theory has it that metaphysical indeterminacy occurs just when reality can be made completely precise in multiple ways. That characterization is formulated by employing the modal apparatus of ersatz possible worlds. As quantum physics taught us, reality cannot be made completely precise. I meet the challenge by providing an alternative theory which preserves the use of ersatz worlds but rejects the precisificational view of metaphysical indeterminacy. The upshot of the proposed theory is that it is metaphysically indeterminate whether p just in case it is neither true nor false that p, and no terms in ‘p’ are semantically defective. In other words, metaphysical indeterminacy arises when the world cannot be adequately described by a complete set of sentences defined in a semantically nondefective language. Moreover, the present theory provides a reductive analysis of metaphysical indeterminacy, unlike its influential predecessor. Finally, I argue that any adequate logic of a language with an indeterminate subject matter is neither compositional nor bivalent.

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Item Type: Published Article or Volume
Torza, Alessandro0000-0003-2474-4365
Keywords: Ersatz world; Ersatzism; Superposition; Quantum mechanics; Quantum physics; Nonclassical logic; Compositionality; Bivalence; Semantic completeness; Supervaluationism; Metaphysical indeterminacy; Possible worlds; Impossible worlds
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Mathematics > Logic
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Mechanics
Depositing User: Alessandro Torza
Date Deposited: 13 Aug 2021 16:44
Last Modified: 13 Aug 2021 16:44
Item ID: 19440
Journal or Publication Title: Synthese
Publisher: Springer (Springer Science+Business Media B.V.)
Official URL:
DOI or Unique Handle:
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Mathematics > Logic
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Mechanics
Date: 2017
Page Range: pp. 4251-4264
Volume: 197
ISSN: 1573-0964

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