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Quantum Haecceity

Kastner, Ruth (2022) Quantum Haecceity. [Preprint]

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Abstract

There is an extensive philosophical literature on the interrelated issues of identity, individuality, and distinguishability in quantum systems. A key consideration is whether quantum systems are subject to a strong form of individuality termed ``haecceity'' (from the Latin for ``this-ness''). I argue that the traditional, strong form of haecceity does not apply at the quantum level, but that in order to properly account for the need for symmetrization in quantum systems, a weaker kind of haecceity must be involved, which I call quantum haecceity. In the process, I also question some generally accepted tenets of the current debate, such as the idea that symmetrization of states for identical quanta must be postulated and reflects permutation invariance. Instead, I note that a perturbative Hamiltonian is required for exchange effects, which suggests that the need for symmetrization arises from specific physical conditions.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Kastner, Ruthrkastner@umd.edu
Keywords: Haecceity, distinguishability, symmetrization, permutation, quantum states, measurement
Subjects: General Issues > Scientific Metaphysics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Mechanics
Depositing User: Ruth E. Kastner
Date Deposited: 12 Feb 2023 14:56
Last Modified: 12 Feb 2023 14:56
Item ID: 21748
Subjects: General Issues > Scientific Metaphysics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Mechanics
Date: 11 February 2022
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/21748

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