Synthese

, Volume 192, Issue 10, pp 3153–3177

One world, one beable

Article

DOI: 10.1007/s11229-014-0582-3

Cite this article as:
Callender, C. Synthese (2015) 192: 3153. doi:10.1007/s11229-014-0582-3

Abstract

Is the quantum state part of the furniture of the world? Einstein found such a position indigestible, but here I present a different understanding of the wavefunction that is easy to stomach. First, I develop the idea that the wavefunction is nomological in nature, showing how the quantum It or Bit debate gets subsumed by the corresponding It or Bit debate about laws of nature. Second, I motivate the nomological view by casting quantum mechanics in a “classical” formalism (Hamilton–Jacobi theory) and classical mechanics in a “quantum” formalism (Koopman–von Neumann theory) and then comparing and contrasting classical and quantum wave functions. I argue that Humeans about laws can treat classical and quantum wave functions on a par and that doing so yields many benefits.

Keywords

Quantum mechanics Hamilton–Jacobi Koopman Humean Nomological Law of nature Classical wavefunction 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUCSDLa JollaUSA