Why Quantum Theory is Possibly Wrong


Quantum theory is a tremendously successful physical theory, but nevertheless suffers from two serious problems: the measurement problem and the problem of interpretational underdetermination. The latter, however, is largely overlooked as a genuine problem of its own. Both problems concern the doctrine of realism, but pull, quite curiously, into opposite directions. The measurement problem can be captured such that due to scientific realism about quantum theory common sense anti-realism follows, while theory underdetermination usually counts as an argument against scientific realism. I will also consider the more refined distinctions of ontic and epistemic realism and demonstrate that quantum theory in its most viable interpretations conflicts with at least one of the various realism claims. A way out of the conundrum is to come to the bold conclusion that quantum theory is, possibly, wrong (in the realist sense).

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Correspondence to Holger Lyre.

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Lyre, H. Why Quantum Theory is Possibly Wrong. Found Phys 40, 1429–1438 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10701-010-9463-x

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  • Quantum measurement
  • Theory underdetermination
  • Common sense realism
  • Scientific realism