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Grant number like: FT-52806-04

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Peter John Lewis
University of Miami (Coral Gables, FL 33146-2919)

FT-52806-04
Summer Stipends
Research Programs

Totals:
$5,000 (approved)
$5,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2004 – 7/31/2004

Conspiracy Theories of Quantum Mechanics: The Measurement Problem and the Philosophy of Science

The measurement problem is a conceptual difficulty in the foundations of quantum mechanics; it entails that standard quantum mechanics cannot be regarded as a description of the physical world. Existing solutions to the measurement problem have serious drawbacks, but a solution without these drawbacks can be obtained by allowing correlations between systems that have had no prior causal interaction. This "conspiratorial" approach is usually rejected on the grounds that the lack of such correlations is a precondition for science, but I will argue that this is not so. I will investigate the changes to philosophical theories of causation and explanation that need to be made to accommodate this approach, and weigh its tenability accordingly.