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Scientific Realism and the Quantum

Scientific Realism and the Quantum

Authors
Publisher Oxford University Press
Year 27/02/2020
Pages 336
Version hardback
Readership level College/higher education
ISBN 9780198814979
Categories Philosophy: metaphysics & ontology, Philosophy of science, Quantum physics (quantum mechanics & quantum field theory)
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Book description

Quantum theory is widely regarded as one of the most successful theories in the history of science. It explains a hugely diverse array of phenomena and is a natural candidate for our best representation of the world at the level of 'fundamental' physics. But how can the world be the way quantum theory says it is? It is famously unclear what the world is like according to quantum physics, which presents a serious problem for the scientific realist who is committed to regarding our best theories as more or less true. The present volume canvasses a variety of responses to this problem, from restricting or revising realism in different ways to exploring entirely new directions in the lively debate surrounding realist interpretations of quantum physics. Some urge us to focus on new formulations of the theory itself, while others examine the status of scientific realism in the further context of quantum field theory. Each chapter is written by a renowned specialist in the field and is aimed at graduate students and researchers in both physics and the philosophy of science. Together they offer a range of illuminating new perspectives on this fundamental debate and exemplify the fruitful interaction between physics and philosophy.

Scientific Realism and the Quantum

Table of contents

1: Steven French and Juha Saatsi: Introduction
Part I: Rethinking Scientific Realism
2: Carl Hoefer: Scientific Realism Without the Quantum
3: Juha Saatsi: Truth vs. Progress Realism about Spin
Part II: Underdetermination and Interpretation
4: Craig Callender: Can We Quarantine the Quantum Blight?
5: David Wallace: On the Plurality of Quantum Theories: Quantum theory as a framework and its implications for the quantum measurement problem
6: J. E. Wolff: Naturalism and the Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics
Part III: Pragmatism about Quantum Theory
7: Richard Healey: Pragmatist Quantum Realism
8: Lina Jansson: Can Pragmatism About Quantum Theory Handle Objectivity About Explanations?
9: Peter J. Lewis: Quantum Mechanics and its (Dis)Contents
Part IV: Wavefunction and Quantum State Realism
10: Alisa Bokulich: Losing Sight of the Forest for the Psi: Beyond the Wavefunction Hegemony
11: Valia Allori: Scientific Realism without the Wave Function
12: Wayne C. Myrvold: On the Status of Quantum State Realism
Part V: Scientific Realism and Quantum Field Theory
13: Doreen Fraser: The Non-Miraculous Success of Formal Analogies in Quantum Theories
14: James D. Fraser: Towards a Realist View of Quantum Field Theory
15: Laura Ruetsche: Perturbing Realism

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