Synthese

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Quantum metaphysical indeterminacy and worldly incompleteness

S.I. The Metaphysics of Entanglement

Abstract

An influential theory has it that metaphysical indeterminacy occurs just when reality can be made completely precise in multiple ways. That characterization is formulated by employing the modal apparatus of ersatz possible worlds. As quantum physics taught us, reality cannot be made completely precise. I meet the challenge by providing an alternative theory which preserves the use of ersatz worlds but rejects the precisificational view of metaphysical indeterminacy. The upshot of the proposed theory is that it is metaphysically indeterminate whether p just in case it is neither true nor false that p, and no terms in ‘p’ are semantically defective. In other words, metaphysical indeterminacy arises when the world cannot be adequately described by a complete set of sentences defined in a semantically nondefective language. Moreover, the present theory provides a reductive analysis of metaphysical indeterminacy, unlike its influential predecessor. Finally, I argue that any adequate logic of a language with an indeterminate subject matter is neither compositional nor bivalent.

Keywords

Ersatz world Ersatzism Superposition Quantum mechanics Quantum physics Nonclassical logic Compositionality Bivalence Semantic completeness Supervaluationism Metaphysical indeterminacy Possible worlds Impossible worlds 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Instituto de Investigaciones FilosóficasUNAMMexicoMexico

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