The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Decoherence

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This paper aims to clarify some conceptual aspects of decoherence that seem largely overlooked in the recent literature. In particular, I want to stress that decoherence theory, in the standard framework, is rather silent with respect to the description of (sub)systems and associated dynamics. Also, the selection of position basis for classical objects is more problematic than usually thought: while, on the one hand, decoherence offers a pragmatic-oriented solution to this problem, on the other hand, this can hardly be seen as a genuine ontological explanation of why the classical world is position-based. This is not to say that decoherence is not useful to the foundations of quantum mechanics; on the contrary, it is a formidable weapon, as it accounts for a realistic description of quantum systems. That powerful description, however, becomes manifest when decoherence theory itself is interpreted in a realist framework of quantum mechanics.
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Archival date: 2021-05-30
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