Discussions on physics, metaphysics and metametaphysics: Interpreting quantum mechanics

Dissertation, Federal University of Santa Catarina (2020)
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This thesis inquires what it means to interpret non-relativistic quantum mechanics (QM), and the philosophical limits of this interpretation. In pursuit of a scientific-realist stance, a metametaphysical method is expanded and applied to evaluate rival interpretations of QM, based on the conceptual distinction between ontology and metaphysics, for objective theory choice in metaphysical discussions relating to QM. Three cases are examined, in which this metametaphysical method succeeds in indicating what are the wrong alternatives to interpret QM in metaphysical terms. The first two cases failed in doing so due to different kinds of underdetermination. In the third case, unlike underdetermination, where there are many choices to be made, a “null-determination” is proposed where there may be no metaphysical choices in the available metaphysical literature. Considering what has been discussed, an agnostic philosophic position is adopted concerning the possibility of interpreting QM from a scientific-realistic point of view.
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Archival date: 2020-04-09
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