Nonseparability, Potentiality, and the Context-Dependence of Quantum Objects
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- Karakostas, V. J Gen Philos Sci (2007) 38: 279. doi:10.1007/s10838-007-9050-9
Standard quantum mechanics undeniably violates the notion of separability that classical physics accustomed us to consider as valid. By relating the phenomenon of quantum nonseparability to the all-important concept of potentiality, we effectively provide a coherent picture of the puzzling entangled correlations among spatially separated systems. We further argue that the generalized phenomenon of quantum nonseparability implies contextuality for the production of well-defined events in the quantum domain, whereas contextuality entails in turn a structural-relational conception of quantal objects, viewed as carriers of dispositional properties. It is finally suggested that contextuality, if considered as a conditionalization preparation procedure of the object to be measured, naturally leads to a separable concept of reality whose elements are experienced as distinct, well-localized objects having determinate properties. In this connection, we find it necessary to distinguish the meaning of the term reality from the criterion of reality for us. The implications of the latter considerations for the notion of objectivity in quantum mechanics are also discussed.