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Why Scientific Realists Should Reject the Second Dogma of Quantum Mechanics

Allori, Valia (2020) Why Scientific Realists Should Reject the Second Dogma of Quantum Mechanics. [Preprint]


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The information-theoretic approach to quantum mechanics, proposed by Bub and Pitowsky, is a realist approach to quantum theory which rejects the “two dogmas” of quantum mechanics: in this theory measurement results are not analysed in terms of something more fundamental, and the quantum state does not represent physical entities. Bub and Pitowsky’s approach has been criticized because their rejection of the first dogma relies on their argument that kinematic explanations are more satisfactory than dynamical ones. However, little attention has been given to the second dogma. If anything, some have discussed the difficulties the informational-theoretical interpretation faces in making sense of the quantum state as epistemic. The aim of this paper is twofold. First, I argue that a realist should reject the second dogma without relying on the alleged explanatory superiority of kinematical explanation over dynamical ones, thereby providing Bub and Pitowsky with a way to avoid the first set of objections to their view. Then I propose a functionalist account of the wavefunction as a non-material entity which does not fall prey of the objections to the epistemic account or the other non-material accounts such as the nomological view, and therefore I supply the proponents of the information-theoretical interpretation with a new tool to overcome the second set of criticisms.

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Item Type: Preprint
Allori, Valiavaliaallori@fastmail.com0000-0002-8144-8549
Keywords: two dogmas of quantum mechanics, measurement problem, information-theoretic interpretation of quantum mechanics, primitive ontology, wavefunction realism, epistemic interpretations of the wavefunction, nomological interpretation of the wavefunction, pragmatic interpretation of the wavefunction, kinematic vs dynamical explanation, principle vs constructive theories, functionalism
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Mechanics
Depositing User: Dr Valia Allori
Date Deposited: 17 Nov 2022 14:51
Last Modified: 17 Nov 2022 14:51
Item ID: 21433
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Mechanics
Date: 2020

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