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  1. added 2019-01-23
    From No-Signaling to Spontaneous Localization Theories.Valia Allori - 2019 - International Journal of Quantum Foundations 5:1-10.
    GianCarlo Ghirardi passed away on June 1st, 201. He would have turned 83 on October 28, 2018. He was without any doubt one of the most prominent theoretical physicists working on the foundation and the philosophy of quantum mechanics. In this paper I review some of his achievements and underline how his research influenced the philosophy of physics community.
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  2. added 2019-01-22
    Reality and the Probability Wave.Daniel Shanahan - manuscript
    Effects associated in quantum mechanics with a divisible probability wave are explained as physically real consequences of the equal but opposite reaction of the apparatus as a particle is measured. Taking as illustration a Mach-Zehnder interferometer operating by refraction, it is shown that this reaction must comprise a fluctuation in the reradiation field of complementary effect to the changes occurring in the photon as it is projected into one or other path. The evolution of this fluctuation through the experiment will (...)
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  3. added 2018-05-29
    Could Inelastic Interactions Induce Quantum Probabilistic Transitions?Nicholas Maxwell - 2017 - In Shan Gao (ed.), Collapse of the Wave Function. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 257-273.
    What are quantum entities? Is the quantum domain deterministic or probabilistic? Orthodox quantum theory (OQT) fails to answer these two fundamental questions. As a result of failing to answer the first question, OQT is very seriously defective: it is imprecise, ambiguous, ad hoc, non-explanatory, inapplicable to the early universe, inapplicable to the cosmos as a whole, and such that it is inherently incapable of being unified with general relativity. It is argued that probabilism provides a very natural solution to the (...)
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  4. added 2018-02-02
    A New Way of Understanding the Wave Function.Nicholas Maxwell - 2018 - Metascience 27 (1):87-90.
    This is a review of a book by Shan Gao called "The meaning of the wave function", Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017.
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  5. added 2017-02-28
    Karl Popper, Science and Enlightenment.Nicholas Maxwell - 2017 - London: UCL Press.
    Karl Popper is famous for having proposed that science advances by a process of conjecture and refutation. He is also famous for defending the open society against what he saw as its arch enemies – Plato and Marx. Popper’s contributions to thought are of profound importance, but they are not the last word on the subject. They need to be improved. My concern in this book is to spell out what is of greatest importance in Popper’s work, what its failings (...)
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  6. added 2017-02-18
    Could Inelastic Interactions Induce Quantum Probabilistic Transitions?Nicholas Maxwell - 2017 - In Shan Gao (ed.), Collapse of the Wave Function. Cambridge: Camridge University Press.
    What are quantum entities? Is the quantum domain deterministic or probabilistic? Orthodox quantum theory (OQT) fails to answer these two fundamental questions. As a result of failing to answer the first question, OQT is very seriously defective: it is imprecise, ambiguous, ad hoc, non-explanatory, inapplicable to the early universe, inapplicable to the cosmos as a whole, and such that it is inherently incapable of being unified with general relativity. It is argued that probabilism provides a very natural solution to the (...)
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  7. added 2016-12-08
    Relativity Theory May Not Have the Last Word on the Nature of Time: Quantum Theory and Probabilism.Nicholas Maxwell - 2017 - In G. Ghirardi & S. Wuppulur (eds.), Space, Time and the Limits of Human Understanding. Springer. pp. 109-124.
    Two radically different views about time are possible. According to the first, the universe is three dimensional. It has a past and a future, but that does not mean it is spread out in time as it is spread out in the three dimensions of space. This view requires that there is an unambiguous, absolute, cosmic-wide "now" at each instant. According to the second view about time, the universe is four dimensional. It is spread out in both space and time (...)
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  8. added 2016-07-18
    Primitive Ontology and the Classical World.Valia Allori - 2016 - In R. Kastner, J. Jeknic-Dugic & G. Jaroszkiewicz (eds.), Quantum Structural Studies: Classical Emergence from the Quantum Level. World Scientific. pp. 175-199.
    In this paper I present the common structure of quantum theories with a primitive ontology, and discuss in what sense the classical world emerges from quantum theories as understood in this framework. In addition, I argue that the primitive ontology approach is better at answering this question than the rival wave function ontology approach or any other approach in which the classical world is nonreductively ‘emergent:’ even if the classical limit within this framework needs to be fully developed, the difficulties (...)
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  9. added 2016-03-06
    Is the Quantum World Composed of Propensitons?Nicholas Maxwell - 2007 - In Mauricio Suarez (ed.), Probabilities, Causes and Propensities in Physics. Springer. pp. 221-243.
    In this paper I outline my propensiton version of quantum theory (PQT). PQT is a fully micro-realistic version of quantum theory that provides us with a very natural possible solution to the fundamental wave/particle problem, and is free of the severe defects of orthodox quantum theory (OQT) as a result. PQT makes sense of the quantum world. PQT recovers all the empirical success of OQT and is, furthermore, empirically testable (although not as yet tested). I argue that Einstein almost put (...)
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  10. added 2016-03-03
    La storia del gatto che era sia vivo che morto.Valia Allori - 2009 - In Enrico Giannetto (ed.), Da Archimede a Majorana: la fisica nel suo divenire. Guaraldi. pp. 273-283.
    Questa è la breve storia , forse un poco romanzata, del gatto che, se non forse il più citato, è di sicuro il più bistrattato della storia della fisica e della filosofia: il gatto di Schrödinger.
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  11. added 2015-08-26
    Primitive Ontology in a Nutshell.Valia Allori - 2015 - International Journal of Quantum Foundations 1 (2):107-122.
    The aim of this paper is to summarize a particular approach of doing metaphysics through physics - the primitive ontology approach. The idea is that any fundamental physical theory has a well-defined architecture, to the foundation of which there is the primitive ontology, which represents matter. According to the framework provided by this approach when applied to quantum mechanics, the wave function is not suitable to represent matter. Rather, the wave function has a nomological character, given that its role in (...)
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  12. added 2015-03-03
    Events and the Ontology of Quantum Mechanics.Mauro Dorato - 2015 - Topoi 34 (2):369-378.
    In the first part of the paper I argue that an ontology of events is precise, flexible and general enough so as to cover the three main alternative formulations of quantum mechanics as well as theories advocating an antirealistic view of the wave function. Since these formulations advocate a primitive ontology of entities living in four-dimensional spacetime, they are good candidates to connect that quantum image with the manifest image of the world. However, to the extent that some form of (...)
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  13. added 2015-03-03
    Laws of Nature and the Reality of the Wave Function.Mauro Dorato - 2015 - Synthese 192 (10):3179-3201.
    In this paper I review three different positions on the wave function, namely: nomological realism, dispositionalism, and configuration space realism by regarding as essential their capacity to account for the world of our experience. I conclude that the first two positions are committed to regard the wave function as an abstract entity. The third position will be shown to be a merely speculative attempt to derive a primitive ontology from a reified mathematical space. Without entering any discussion about nominalism, I (...)
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  14. added 2015-01-19
    Four Tails Problems for Dynamical Collapse Theories.Kelvin J. McQueen - 2015 - Studies in the History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 49:10-18.
    The primary quantum mechanical equation of motion entails that measurements typically do not have determinate outcomes, but result in superpositions of all possible outcomes. Dynamical collapse theories (e.g. GRW) supplement this equation with a stochastic Gaussian collapse function, intended to collapse the superposition of outcomes into one outcome. But the Gaussian collapses are imperfect in a way that leaves the superpositions intact. This is the tails problem. There are several ways of making this problem more precise. But many authors dismiss (...)
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  15. added 2012-03-08
    Primitive Ontology and the Structure of Fundamental Physical Theories.Valia Allori - 2013 - In Alyssa Ney & David Z. Albert (eds.), The Wave Function: Essays in the Metaphysics of Quantum Mechanics. Oxford University Press.
    For a long time it was believed that it was impossible to be realist about quantum mechanics. It took quite a while for the researchers in the foundations of physics, beginning with John Stuart Bell [Bell 1987], to convince others that such an alleged impossibility had no foundation. Nowadays there are several quantum theories that can be interpreted realistically, among which Bohmian mechanics, the GRW theory, and the many-worlds theory. The debate, though, is far from being over: in what respect (...)
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  16. added 2011-10-11
    A Model of Wavefunction Collapse in Discrete Space-Time.Shan Gao - 2006 - International Journal of Theoretical Physics 45 (10):1965-1979.
    We give a new argument supporting a gravitational role in quantum collapse. It is demonstrated that the discreteness of space-time, which results from the proper combination of quantum theory and general relativity, may inevitably result in the dynamical collapse of thewave function. Moreover, the minimum size of discrete space-time yields a plausible collapse criterion consistent with experiments. By assuming that the source to collapse the wave function is the inherent random motion of particles described by the wave function, we further (...)
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  17. added 2011-03-17
    Particle Creation as the Quantum Condition for Probabilistic Events to Occur.Nicholas Maxwell - 1994 - Physics Letters A 187 (2 May 1994):351-355.
    A new version of quantum theory is proposed, according to which probabilistic events occur whenever new statioinary or bound states are created as a result of inelastic collisions. The new theory recovers the experimental success of orthodox quantum theory, but differs form the orthodox theory for as yet unperformed experiments.
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  18. added 2011-03-16
    Does Orthodox Quantum Theory Undermine, or Support, Scientific Realism?Nicholas Maxwell - 1993 - Philosophical Quarterly 44 (171):139-157.
    It is usually taken for granted that orthodox quantum theory poses a serious problem for scientific realism, in that the theory is empirically extraordinarily successful, and yet has instrumentalism built into it. This paper stand this view on its head. I argue that orthodox quantum theory suffers from a number of serious (if not always noticed) defects precisely because of its inbuilt instrumentalism. This defective character of orthdoox quantum theory thus undermines instrumentalism, and supports scientific realism. I go on to (...)
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  19. added 2011-03-15
    Are Probabilism and Special Relativity Compatible?Nicholas Maxwell - 1988 - Philosophy of Science 55 (4):640-645.
    Are special relativity and probabilism compatible? Dieks argues that they are. But the possible universe he specifies, designed to exemplify both probabilism and special relativity, either incorporates a universal "now" (and is thus incompatible with special relativity), or amounts to a many world universe (which I have discussed, and rejected as too ad hoc to be taken seriously), or fails to have any one definite overall Minkowskian-type space-time structure (and thus differs drastically from special relativity as ordinarily understood). Probabilism and (...)
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  20. added 2011-03-15
    Quantum Propensiton Theory: A Testable Resolution of the Wave/Particle Dilemma.Nicholas Maxwell - 1988 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 39 (1):1-50.
    In this paper I put forward a new micro realistic, fundamentally probabilistic, propensiton version of quantum theory. According to this theory, the entities of the quantum domain - electrons, photons, atoms - are neither particles nor fields, but a new kind of fundamentally probabilistic entity, the propensiton - entities which interact with one another probabilistically. This version of quantum theory leaves the Schroedinger equation unchanged, but reinterprets it to specify how propensitons evolve when no probabilistic transitions occur. Probabilisitic transitions occur (...)
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  21. added 2011-03-15
    Are Probabilism and Special Relativity Incompatible?Nicholas Maxwell - 1985 - Philosophy of Science 52 (1):23-43.
    In this paper I expound an argument which seems to establish that probabilism and special relativity are incompatible. I examine the argument critically, and consider its implications for interpretative problems of quantum theory, and for theoretical physics as a whole.
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  22. added 2011-03-15
    Instead of Particles and Fields: A Micro Realistic Quantum "Smearon" Theory. [REVIEW]Nicholas Maxwell - 1982 - Foundatioins of Physics 12 (6):607-631.
    A fully micro realistic, propensity version of quantum theory is proposed, according to which fundamental physical entities - neither particles nor fields - have physical characteristics which determine probabilistically how they interact with one another . The version of quantum "smearon" theory proposed here does not modify the equations of orthodox quantum theory: rather, it gives a radically new interpretation to these equations. It is argued that there are strong general reasons for preferring quantum "smearon" theory to orthodox quantum theory; (...)
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  23. added 2011-03-15
    Towards a Micro Realistic Version of Quantum Mechanics, Part I.Nicholas Maxwell - 1976 - Foundations of Physics 6 (3):275-292.
    This paper investigates the possibiity of developing a fully micro realistic version of elementary quantum mechanics. I argue that it is highly desirable to develop such a version of quantum mechanics, and that the failure of all current versions and interpretations of quantum mechanics to constitute micro realistic theories is at the root of many of the interpretative problems associated with quantum mechanics, in particular the problem of measurement. I put forward a propensity micro realistic version of quantum mechanics, and (...)
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  24. added 2011-03-15
    Towards a Micro Realistic Version of Quantum Mechanics, Part II.Nicholas Maxwell - 1976 - Foundations of Physics 6 (6):661-676.
    In this paper, possible objections to the propensity microrealistic version of quantum mechanics proposed in Part I are answered. This version of quantum mechanics is compared with the statistical, particle microrealistic viewpoint, and a crucial experiment is proposed designed to distinguish between these to microrealistic versions of quantum mechanics.
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  25. added 2011-03-15
    The Problem of Measurement - Real or Imaginary?Nicholas Maxwell - 1973 - American Journal of Physics 41:1022-5.
    It is argued that criticisms of Willian Band and James Park concerning the quantum mechanics measurement problem do not succeed.
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  26. added 2011-03-15
    A New Look at the Quantum Mechanical Problem of Measurement.Nicholas Maxwell - 1972 - American Journal of Physics 40:1431-5..
    According to orthodox quantum mechanics, state vectors change in two incompatible ways: "deterministically" in accordance with Schroedinger's time-dependent equation, and probabilistically if and only if a measurement is made. It is argued here that the problem of measurement arises because the precise mutually exclusive conditions for these two types of transitions to occur are not specified within orthodox quantum mechanics. Fundamentally, this is due to an inevitable ambiguity in the notion of "meawurement" itself. Hence, if the problem of measurement is (...)
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