, Volume 14, Issue 1, pp 55-65

Dissipating the quantum measurement problem

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The integration of recent work on decoherence into a so-called “modal” interpretation offers a promising new approach to the measurement problem in quantum mechanics. In this paper I explain and develop this approach in the context of the interactive interpretation presented in Healey (1989). I begin by questioning a number of assumptions which are standardly made in setting up the measurement problem, and I conclude that no satisfactory solution can afford to ignore the influence of the environment. Further, I argue that there are good reasons to believe that on a “modal” interpretation environmental interactions rapidly ensure that a quantummechanically describable apparatus indeed records a definite result following a measurement interaction.