Quantum Ontology

Filename: quantum-ontology.pdf
ISBN: 9780190469825
Release Date: 2016-07-12
Number of pages: 232
Author: Peter J. Lewis
Publisher: Oxford University Press

Download and read online Quantum Ontology in PDF and EPUB Metaphysicians should pay attention to quantum mechanics. Why? Not because it provides definitive answers to many metaphysical questions-the theory itself is remarkably silent on the nature of the physical world, and the various interpretations of the theory on offer present conflicting ontological pictures. Rather, quantum mechanics is essential to the metaphysician because it reshapes standard metaphysical debates and opens up unforeseen new metaphysical possibilities. Even if quantum mechanics provides few clear answers, there are good reasons to think that any adequate understanding of the quantum world will result in a radical reshaping of our classical world-view in some way or other. Whatever the world is like at the atomic scale, it is almost certainly not the swarm of particles pushed around by forces that is often presupposed. This book guides readers through the theory of quantum mechanics and its implications for metaphysics in a clear and accessible way. The theory and its various interpretations are presented with a minimum of technicality. The consequences of these interpretations for metaphysical debates concerning realism, indeterminacy, causation, determinism, holism, and individuality (among other topics) are explored in detail, stressing the novel form that the debates take given the empirical facts in the quantum domain. While quantum mechanics may not deliver unconditional pronouncements on these issues, the range of possibilities consistent with our knowledge of the empirical world is relatively small-and each possibility is metaphysically revisionary in some way. This book will appeal to researchers, students, and anybody else interested in how science informs our world-view.


Quantum Ontology

Filename: quantum-ontology.pdf
ISBN: 9780190469832
Release Date: 2016-06-13
Number of pages: 288
Author: Peter J. Lewis
Publisher: Oxford University Press

Download and read online Quantum Ontology in PDF and EPUB Metaphysicians should pay attention to quantum mechanics. Why? Not because it provides definitive answers to many metaphysical questions-the theory itself is remarkably silent on the nature of the physical world, and the various interpretations of the theory on offer present conflicting ontological pictures. Rather, quantum mechanics is essential to the metaphysician because it reshapes standard metaphysical debates and opens up unforeseen new metaphysical possibilities. Even if quantum mechanics provides few clear answers, there are good reasons to think that any adequate understanding of the quantum world will result in a radical reshaping of our classical world-view in some way or other. Whatever the world is like at the atomic scale, it is almost certainly not the swarm of particles pushed around by forces that is often presupposed. This book guides readers through the theory of quantum mechanics and its implications for metaphysics in a clear and accessible way. The theory and its various interpretations are presented with a minimum of technicality. The consequences of these interpretations for metaphysical debates concerning realism, indeterminacy, causation, determinism, holism, and individuality (among other topics) are explored in detail, stressing the novel form that the debates take given the empirical facts in the quantum domain. While quantum mechanics may not deliver unconditional pronouncements on these issues, the range of possibilities consistent with our knowledge of the empirical world is relatively small-and each possibility is metaphysically revisionary in some way. This book will appeal to researchers, students, and anybody else interested in how science informs our world-view.


Quantum Ontology

Filename: quantum-ontology.pdf
ISBN: 9780190618797
Release Date: 2016-06-13
Number of pages: 240
Author: Peter J. Lewis
Publisher: Oxford University Press

Download and read online Quantum Ontology in PDF and EPUB Metaphysicians should pay attention to quantum mechanics. Why? Not because it provides definitive answers to many metaphysical questions-the theory itself is remarkably silent on the nature of the physical world, and the various interpretations of the theory on offer present conflicting ontological pictures. Rather, quantum mechanics is essential to the metaphysician because it reshapes standard metaphysical debates and opens up unforeseen new metaphysical possibilities. Even if quantum mechanics provides few clear answers, there are good reasons to think that any adequate understanding of the quantum world will result in a radical reshaping of our classical world-view in some way or other. Whatever the world is like at the atomic scale, it is almost certainly not the swarm of particles pushed around by forces that is often presupposed. This book guides readers through the theory of quantum mechanics and its implications for metaphysics in a clear and accessible way. The theory and its various interpretations are presented with a minimum of technicality. The consequences of these interpretations for metaphysical debates concerning realism, indeterminacy, causation, determinism, holism, and individuality (among other topics) are explored in detail, stressing the novel form that the debates take given the empirical facts in the quantum domain. While quantum mechanics may not deliver unconditional pronouncements on these issues, the range of possibilities consistent with our knowledge of the empirical world is relatively small-and each possibility is metaphysically revisionary in some way. This book will appeal to researchers, students, and anybody else interested in how science informs our world-view.


The Wave Function

Filename: the-wave-function.pdf
ISBN: 9780190240721
Release Date: 2013-04-08
Number of pages: 256
Author: Alyssa Ney
Publisher: Oxford University Press

Download and read online The Wave Function in PDF and EPUB This is a new volume of original essays on the metaphysics of quantum mechanics. The essays address questions such as: What fundamental metaphysics is best motivated by quantum mechanics? What is the ontological status of the wave function? Does quantum mechanics support the existence of any other fundamental entities, e.g. particles? What is the nature of the fundamental space (or space-time manifold) of quantum mechanics? What is the relationship between the fundamental ontology of quantum mechanics and ordinary, macroscopic objects like tables, chairs, and persons? This collection includes a comprehensive introduction with a history of quantum mechanics and the debate over its metaphysical interpretation focusing especially on the main realist alternatives.


Bananaworld

Filename: bananaworld.pdf
ISBN: 9780198718536
Release Date: 2016-01-25
Number of pages: 360
Author: Jeffrey Bub
Publisher: Oxford University Press

Download and read online Bananaworld in PDF and EPUB What on earth do bananas have to do with quantum mechanics? From a modern perspective, quantum mechanics is about strangely counterintuitive correlations between separated systems, which can be exploited in feats like quantum teleportation, unbreakable cryptographic schemes, and computers with enormously enhanced computing power. Schro?dinger coined the term "entanglement" to describe these bizarre correlations. Bananaworld -- an imaginary island with "entangled" bananas -- brings to life the fascinating discoveries of the new field of quantum information without the mathematical machinery of quantum mechanics. The connection with quantum correlations is fully explained in sections written for the non-physicist reader with a serious interest in understanding the mysteries of the quantum world. The result is a subversive but entertaining book that is accessible and interesting to a wide range of readers, with the novel thesis that quantum mechanics is about the structure of information. What we have discovered is that the possibilities for representing, manipulating, and communicating information are very different than we thought.


The Metaphysics of Relations

Filename: the-metaphysics-of-relations.pdf
ISBN: 9780191054747
Release Date: 2016-01-07
Number of pages: 304
Author: Anna Marmodoro
Publisher: Oxford University Press

Download and read online The Metaphysics of Relations in PDF and EPUB This volume presents thirteen original essays which explore both traditional and contemporary aspects of the metaphysics of relations. It is uncontroversial that there are true relational predications-'Abelard loves Eloise', 'Simmias is taller than Socrates', 'smoking causes cancer', and so forth. More controversial is whether any true relational predications have irreducibly relational truthmakers. Do any of the statements above involve their subjects jointly instantiating polyadic properties, or can we explain their truths solely in terms of monadic, non-relational properties of the relata? According to a tradition dating back to Plato and Aristotle, and continued by medieval philosophers, polyadic properties are metaphysically dubious. In non-symmetric relations such as the amatory relation, a property would have to inhere in two things at once-lover and beloved-but characterise each differently, and this puzzled the ancients. More recent work on non-symmetric relations highlights difficulties with their directionality. Such problems offer clear motivation for attempting to reduce relations to monadic properties. By contrast, ontic structural realists hold that the nature of physical reality is exhausted by the relational structure expressed in the equations of fundamental physics. On this view, there must be some irreducible relations, for its fundamental ontology is purely relational. The Metaphysics of Relations draws together the work of a team of leading metaphysicians, to address topics as diverse as ancient and medieval reasons for scepticism about polyadic properties; recent attempts to reduce causal and spatiotemporal relations; recent work on the directionality of relational properties; powers ontologies and their associated problems; whether the most promising interpretations of quantum mechanics posit a fundamentally relational world; and whether the very idea of such a world is coherent. From those who question whether there are relational properties at all, to those who hold they are a fundamental part of reality, this book covers a broad spectrum of positions on the nature and ontological status of relations, from antiquity to the present day.


The Philosophy of Physics

Filename: the-philosophy-of-physics.pdf
ISBN: 9781509509409
Release Date: 2016-08-01
Number of pages: 212
Author: Dean Rickles
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

Download and read online The Philosophy of Physics in PDF and EPUB Does the future exist already? What is space? Are time machines physically possible? What is quantum mechanical reality like? Are there many universes? Is there a ‘true’ geometry of the universe? Why does there appear to be an arrow of time? Do humans play a special role in the world? In this unique introductory book, Dean Rickles guides the reader through these and other core questions that keep philosophers of physics up at night. He discusses the three pillars of modern physics (quantum mechanics, statistical mechanics, and the theories of relativity), in addition to more cutting-edge themes such as econophysics, quantum gravity, quantum computers, and gauge theories. The book’s approach is based on the idea that philosophy of physics is a kind of ‘interpretation game’ in which we try to map physical theories onto our world. But the rules of this game often lead to a multiplicity of possible victors: rarely do we encounter a simple answer. The Philosophy of Physics offers a highly accessible introduction to the latest developments in this exciting field. Written in a lively style, with many visual examples, it will appeal to beginner-level students in both physics and philosophy.


Every Thing Must Go

Filename: every-thing-must-go.pdf
ISBN: 9780199276196
Release Date: 2007-07-05
Number of pages: 346
Author: James Ladyman
Publisher: Oxford University Press on Demand

Download and read online Every Thing Must Go in PDF and EPUB Every Thing Must Go argues that the only kind of metaphysics that can contribute to objective knowledge is one based specifically on contemporary science as it really is, and not on philosophers' a priori intuitions, common sense, or simplifications of science. In addition to showing how recent metaphysics has drifted away from connection with all other serious scholarly inquiry as a result of not heeding this restriction, they demonstrate how to build a metaphysicscompatible with current fundamental physics ('ontic structural realism'), which, when combined with their metaphysics of the special sciences ('rainforest realism'), can be used to unify physics with the other sciences without reducing these sciences to physics itself. Taking science metaphysically seriously,Ladyman and Ross argue, means that metaphysicians must abandon the picture of the world as composed of self-subsistent individual objects, and the paradigm of causation as the collision of such objects.Everything Must Go also assesses the role of information theory and complex systems theory in attempts to explain the relationship between the special sciences and physics, treading a middle road between the grand synthesis of thermodynamics and information, and eliminativism about information. The consequences of the author's metaphysical theory for central issues in the philosophy of science are explored, including the implications for the realism vs. empiricism debate, the role ofcausation in scientific explanations, the nature of causation and laws, the status of abstract and virtual objects, and the objective reality of natural kinds.


QBism

Filename: qbism.pdf
ISBN: 9780674504646
Release Date: 2016-10-03
Number of pages: 240
Author: Hans Christian von Baeyer
Publisher: Harvard University Press

Download and read online QBism in PDF and EPUB Short for Quantum Bayesianism, QBism adapts conventional features of quantum mechanics in light of a revised understanding of probability. Using commonsense language, without the equations or weirdness of conventional quantum theory, Hans Christian von Baeyer clarifies the meaning of quantum mechanics and suggests a new approach to general physics.


The Moving Spotlight

Filename: the-moving-spotlight.pdf
ISBN: 9780191022296
Release Date: 2015-08-20
Number of pages: 240
Author: Ross P. Cameron
Publisher: OUP Oxford

Download and read online The Moving Spotlight in PDF and EPUB Ross P. Cameron argues that the flow of time is a genuine feature of reality. He suggests that the best version of the A-Theory is a version of the Moving Spotlight view, according to which past and future beings are real, but there is nonetheless an objectively privileged present. Cameron argues that the Moving Spotlight theory should be viewed as having more in common with Presentism (the view that reality is limited to the present) than with the B-Theory (the view that time is just another dimension like space through which things are spread out). The Moving Spotlight view, on this picture, agrees with Presentism that everything is the way it is now, it simply thinks that non-present beings are amongst the things that are now some way. Cameron argues that the Moving Spotlight theory provides the best account of truthmakers for claims about what was or will be the case, and he defends the view against a number of objections, including McTaggart's argument that the A-Theory is inconsistent, and the charge that if the A-Theory is true but presentism false then we could not know that we are present. The Moving Spotlight defends an account of the open future—that what will happen is, as yet, undetermined—and argues that this is a better account than that available to the Growing Block theory.


Entanglement Information and the Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics

Filename: entanglement-information-and-the-interpretation-of-quantum-mechanics.pdf
ISBN: 9783540921288
Release Date: 2009-06-12
Number of pages: 307
Author: Gregg Jaeger
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media

Download and read online Entanglement Information and the Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics in PDF and EPUB Entanglement was initially thought by some to be an oddity restricted to the realm of thought experiments. However, Bell’s inequality delimiting local - havior and the experimental demonstration of its violation more than 25 years ago made it entirely clear that non-local properties of pure quantum states are more than an intellectual curiosity. Entanglement and non-locality are now understood to ?gure prominently in the microphysical world, a realm into which technology is rapidly hurtling. Information theory is also increasingly recognized by physicists and philosophers as intimately related to the foun- tions of mechanics. The clearest indicator of this relationship is that between quantum information and entanglement. To some degree, a deep relationship between information and mechanics in the quantum context was already there to be seen upon the introduction by Max Born and Wolfgang Pauli of the idea that the essence of pure quantum states lies in their provision of probabilities regarding the behavior of quantum systems, via what has come to be known as the Born rule. The signi?cance of the relationship between mechanics and information became even clearer with Leo Szilard’s analysis of James Clerk Maxwell’s infamous demon thought experiment. Here, in addition to examining both entanglement and quantum infor- tion and their relationship, I endeavor to critically assess the in?uence of the study of these subjects on the interpretation of quantum theory.


How Physics Makes Us Free

Filename: how-physics-makes-us-free.pdf
ISBN: 9780190269456
Release Date: 2016-02-03
Number of pages: 256
Author: J. T. Ismael
Publisher: Oxford University Press

Download and read online How Physics Makes Us Free in PDF and EPUB In 1687 Isaac Newton ushered in a new scientific era in which laws of nature could be used to predict the movements of matter with almost perfect precision. Newton's physics also posed a profound challenge to our self-understanding, however, for the very same laws that keep airplanes in the air and rivers flowing downhill tell us that it is in principle possible to predict what each of us will do every second of our entire lives, given the early conditions of the universe. Can it really be that even while you toss and turn late at night in the throes of an important decision and it seems like the scales of fate hang in the balance, that your decision is a foregone conclusion? Can it really be that everything you have done and everything you ever will do is determined by facts that were in place long before you were born? This problem is one of the staples of philosophical discussion. It is discussed by everyone from freshman in their first philosophy class, to theoretical physicists in bars after conferences. And yet there is no topic that remains more unsettling, and less well understood. If you want to get behind the fa?ade, past the bare statement of determinism, and really try to understand what physics is telling us in its own terms, read this book. The problem of free will raises all kinds of questions. What does it mean to make a decision, and what does it mean to say that our actions are determined? What are laws of nature? What are causes? What sorts of things are we, when viewed through the lenses of physics, and how do we fit into the natural order? Ismael provides a deeply informed account of what physics tells us about ourselves. The result is a vision that is abstract, alien, illuminating, and-Ismael argues-affirmative of most of what we all believe about our own freedom. Written in a jargon-free style, How Physics Makes Us Free provides an accessible and innovative take on a central question of human existence.


After Physics

Filename: after-physics.pdf
ISBN: 9780674731264
Release Date: 2015-01-05
Number of pages: 181
Author: David Z. Albert
Publisher: Harvard University Press

Download and read online After Physics in PDF and EPUB Here the philosopher and physicist David Z Albert argues, among other things, that the difference between past and future can be understood as a mechanical phenomenon of nature and that quantum mechanics makes it impossible to present the entirety of what can be said about the world as a narrative of “befores” and “afters.”


Ontology and the Ambitions of Metaphysics

Filename: ontology-and-the-ambitions-of-metaphysics.pdf
ISBN: 9780191091254
Release Date: 2016-08-18
Number of pages: 320
Author: Thomas Hofweber
Publisher: Oxford University Press

Download and read online Ontology and the Ambitions of Metaphysics in PDF and EPUB Many significant problems in metaphysics are tied to ontological questions, but ontology and its relation to larger questions in metaphysics give rise to a series of puzzles that suggest that we don't fully understand what ontology is supposed to do, nor what ambitions metaphysics can have for finding out about what reality is like. Thomas Hofweber aims to solve these puzzles about ontology and consequently to make progress on four central metaphysical problems: the philosophy of arithmetic, the metaphysics of ordinary objects, the problem of universals, and the question of whether the reality is independent of us. Crucial parts of the proposed solution involve considerations about quantification and its relationship to ontology, the place of reference in natural languages, the possibility of ineffable facts, the extent of empirical evidence in metaphysics, and whether metaphysics can be properly esoteric. Overall, Hofweber defends a rationalist account of arithmetic, an empiricist picture in the philosophy of ordinary objects, a restricted form of nominalism, and realism about reality, understood as all there is, but idealism about reality, understood as all that is the case. He defends metaphysics as having some questions of fact that are distinctly its own, with a limited form of autonomy from other parts of inquiry, but rejects several metaphysical projects and approaches as being based on a mistake.


Interpreting the Quantum World

Filename: interpreting-the-quantum-world.pdf
ISBN: 052165386X
Release Date: 1999-08-26
Number of pages: 290
Author: Jeffrey Bub
Publisher: Cambridge University Press

Download and read online Interpreting the Quantum World in PDF and EPUB Philosophy of physics title by highly regarded author, fully revised for this paperback edition.