Monday, February 22, 2010

Dieks on RQM

This is a quick follow up on the prior post.  Van Fraassen was a pioneer in the 1970's of the modal interpretation of QM (which became over time a family of interpretations), and he’s now clearly an admirer of RQM.  I'm not a careful student of the modal interpretations (here's the SEP article by Michael Dickson and Dennis Dieks), but the starting point involved an attempt to do away with the measurement collapse postulate (which was why I originally had a hard time getting interested in the program).  The goal was instead was to append actual values to dynamically evolving states.  The SEP article details the various challenges and developments over the years;  what was new to me was the fact that a subset of the philosophers involved had proposed a perspectival or relational approach in an effort to solve some of the problems.  These efforts come close to the spirit of RQM despite the very different starting point.  This is discussed in a recent paper by Dieks called "Objectivity in Perspective: Relationalism in the Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics".

Below for bookkeeping are some past posts on interpreting QM.

Quantum Foundations Series (chronological order):

The Duality at the Heart of Physics
I discuss how the two processes of QM are unavoidably interdependent.

Free Will All the Way Down
A paper describes the relationship between freedom at the human level and indeterminism at the micro-level.

Interpreting Quantum Probability
Is the probabilistic aspect of QM objectively real or epistemological?

The Limit of the Bayesian Interpretation
Why the Bayesian (subjective) interpretation of quantum probability is preferred but is still incomplete.

Wigner’s Friend and Perspectivist Quantum Theory
A superior interpretation of QM by Paul Merriam.

Merriam’s Quantum Relativity
How Merriam addresses the “preferred basis” problem for the perspectivist interpretation.

A Russell-Style Objection to Many-Worlds
Using quotes from Bertrand Russell to help explain my problem with the motivation of MWI.

Conway and Kochen vs. Determinism
Their "Strong Free-Will Theorem"

Points of View are Irreducible
Michel Bitbol on the role of perspective in interpreting QM.

Suarez on Quantum Propensities
Mauricio Suarez links the interpretation of QM to the metaphysics of power properties.

Fine Idea on the Measurement Problem
Arthur Fine's 'selective interactions" and 'quantum silence.'

Van Fraassen on "Rovelli's World"
Bas C. van Fraassen analyzes Relational Quantum Mechanics.

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