Foundations of Physics

, Volume 44, Issue 12, pp 1269–1288

Separability and Non-Individuality: Is It Possible to Conciliate (At Least A Form Of) Einstein’s Realism with Quantum Mechanics?


DOI: 10.1007/s10701-014-9808-y

Cite this article as:
Krause, D. & Arenhart, J.R.B. Found Phys (2014) 44: 1269. doi:10.1007/s10701-014-9808-y


In this paper we argue that physical theories, including quantum mechanics, refer to some kind of ‘objects’, even if only implicitly. We raise questions about the logico-mathematical apparatuses commonly employed in such theories, bringing to light some metaphysical presuppositions underlying such apparatuses. We point out to some incongruities in the discourse holding that quantum objects would be entities of some ‘new kind’ while still adhering to the logico-mathematical framework we use to deal with classical objects. The use of such apparatus would hinder us from being in complete agreement with the ontological novelties the theories of quanta seem to advance. Thus, we join those who try to investigate a ‘logic of quantum mechanics’, but from a different point of view: looking for a formal foundation for a supposed new ontology. As a consequence of this move, we can revisit Einstein’s ideas on physical reality and propose that, by considering a new kind of object traditionally termed ‘non-individuals’, it is possible to sustain that they still obey some of Einstein’s conditions for ‘physical realities’, so that it will be possible to talk of a ‘principle of separability’ in a sense which is not in complete disagreement with quantum mechanics. So, Einstein’s departure from quantum mechanics might be softened at least concerning a form of his realism, which sees separated physical objects as distinct ‘physical realities’.


Quantum objects Non-individuality Separability  Quasi-sets Extensional ontology 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyFederal University of Santa CatarinaFlorianópolisBrazil

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