Philosophy of Physics Graduate Lunch Seminar (Tuesday - Week 4, HT23)

philosophy of physics grad lunch seminar

Ismael and Schaffer (2016) have recently argued that non-separability in quantum mechanics ought to be accounted for in terms of common ground, because such account allows for a grounding explanation of Bell-type correlations, dodging a violation of Local Causality. Surprisingly, Ismael and Schaffer do not tie their argument to a particular approach to quantum theory, rather they claim that their discussion ‘crosscuts the usual taxonomy’. I take issue with the latter claim and I demonstrate that whether their metaphysical ac- count of non-separability contributes to defusing worries of non-locality crucially depends on the approach considered. Bohmian mechanics is excluded from the outset due to its acceptance of non-locality. I focus instead on Everettian quantum theory and dynamical collapse theories. I argue that the former offers a local and causal explanation of entanglement, thus removes the pressure to account for non-separability in terms of common ground. Instead I explain that Ismael and Schaffer’s argument applies perfectly to the case of dynamical collapse theories, and I note that their common ground account has the potential to resolve the worrying tension between relativistic collapse theories and Bell’s sentiment that ’correlations cry out for explanation’ (Bell, 2004, p.152).

The PoP-grunch (Philosophy of Physics Graduate Lunch) is a weekly informal seminar in which graduate students in Philosophy of Physics present their work in progress. Anyone can attend. Anyone interested in presenting or being added to the mailing list should contact Dominik Ehrenfels

Philosophy of Physics Graduate Lunch Seminar Convenor: Dominik Ehrenfels