The Indeterminist Objectivity of Quantum Mechanics Versus the Determinist Subjectivity of Classical Physics

Cosmology and Large-Scale Structure eJournal (Elsevier: SSRN) 2 (18):1-5 (2020)
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Indeterminism of quantum mechanics is considered as an immediate corollary from the theorems about absence of hidden variables in it, and first of all, the Kochen – Specker theorem. The base postulate of quantum mechanics formulated by Niels Bohr that it studies the system of an investigated microscopic quantum entity and the macroscopic apparatus described by the smooth equations of classical mechanics by the readings of the latter implies as a necessary condition of quantum mechanics the absence of hidden variables, and thus, quantum indeterminism. Consequently, the objectivity of quantum mechanics and even its possibility and ability to study its objects as they are by themselves imply quantum indeterminism. The so-called free-will theorems in quantum mechanics elucidate that the “valuable commodity” of free will is not a privilege of the experimenters and human beings, but it is shared by anything in the physical universe once the experimenter is granted to possess free will. The analogical idea, that e.g. an electron might possess free will to “decide” what to do, scandalized Einstein forced him to exclaim (in a letter to Max Born in 2016) that he would be а shoemaker or croupier rather than a physicist if this was true. Anyway, many experiments confirmed the absence of hidden variables and thus quantum indeterminism in virtue of the objectivity and completeness of quantum mechanics. Once quantum mechanics is complete and thus an objective science, one can ask what this would mean in relation to classical physics and its objectivity. In fact, it divides disjunctively what possesses free will from what does not. Properly, all physical objects belong to the latter area according to it, and their “behavior” is necessary and deterministic. All possible decisions, on the contrary, are concentrated in the experimenters (or human beings at all), i.e. in the former domain not intersecting the latter. One may say that the cost of the determinism and unambiguous laws of classical physics, is the indeterminism and free will of the experimenters and researchers (human beings) therefore necessarily being out of the scope and objectivity of classical physics. This is meant as the “deterministic subjectivity of classical physics” opposed to the “indeterminist objectivity of quantum mechanics”.

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Vasil Penchev
Bulgarian Academy of Sciences


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