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A Philosopher's View of the Epistemic Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics

Avin, Shahar (2010) A Philosopher's View of the Epistemic Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics. [Preprint]


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There are various reasons for favouring Ψ-epistemic interpretations of quantum mechanics over Ψ-ontic interpretations. One such reason is the correlation between quantum mechanics and Liouville dynamics. Another reason is the success of a specific epistemic model (Spekkens, 2007), in reproducing a wide range of quantum phenomena. The potential criticism, that Spekkens' restricted knowledge principle is counter-intuitive, is rejected using `everyday life' examples. It is argued that the dimensionality of spin favours Spekkens' model over Ψ-ontic models. van Enk's extension of Spekkens' model (2007) can even reproduce Bell Inequality violations, but requires negative probabilities to do so. An epistemic account of negative probabilities is the missing element for deciding the battle between Ψ-epistemic and Ψ-ontic interpretations in favour of the former.

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Item Type: Preprint
Avin, Shahar
Additional Information: This essay was submitted as part of the required work for the Masters Level course, Part III, in the History and Philosophy of Science Department, Cambridge University, May 2010.
Keywords: epistemic interpretation, Spekkens, toy model, Catch 22, chocolate quiz show
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Mechanics
Depositing User: Shahar Avin
Date Deposited: 21 May 2010
Last Modified: 07 Oct 2010 15:19
Item ID: 5364
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Mechanics
Date: May 2010

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