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Why the Quantum?
, 2004
"... This paper is a commentary on the foundational significance of the CliftonBubHalvorson theorem characterizing quantum theory in terms of three informationtheoretic constraints. I argue that: (1) a quantum theory is best understood as a theory about the possibilities and impossibilities of informa ..."
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Cited by 19 (1 self)
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This paper is a commentary on the foundational significance of the CliftonBubHalvorson theorem characterizing quantum theory in terms of three informationtheoretic constraints. I argue that: (1) a quantum theory is best understood as a theory about the possibilities and impossibilities of information transfer, as opposed to a theory about the mechanics of nonclassical waves or particles, (2) given the informationtheoretic constraints, any mechanical theory of quantum phenomena that includes an account of the measuring instruments that reveal these phenomena must be empirically equivalent to a quantum theory, and (3) assuming the informationtheoretic constraints are in fact satisfied in our world, no mechanical theory of quantum phenomena that includes an account of measurement interactions can be acceptable, and the appropriate aim of physics at the fundamental level then becomes the representation and manipulation of information.
Variance Explained: Why size does not (always) matter
 In Research in organizational behavior
, 1999
"... I examine the role of explaining variance in the construction of explanatory theory. Explaining variance can be an insufficient basis for evaluating a theory (Lieberson, 1985). Starting with this insight, I suggest that models that provide explanations of variance do not necessarily provide good exp ..."
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I examine the role of explaining variance in the construction of explanatory theory. Explaining variance can be an insufficient basis for evaluating a theory (Lieberson, 1985). Starting with this insight, I suggest that models that provide explanations of variance do not necessarily provide good explanations of causal mechanisms. I then explore the utility of process models and theories (Mohr, 1982) relative to variance theories. I clarify the role of stochastic processes in such model building and discuss the implications of such processes for evaluating explanatory `adequacy'. Under some conditions, explaining variance may be neither a necessary nor a sufficient condition for good explanatory theory. I then identify some implications of this argument for developing and analyzing explanatory theory. These arguments are applied to two examples: (1) metaanalysis and (2) the disposition versus situation debate (a variant on the nature vs. nurture argument) to illustrate the implications of ...
Quantum information and computation
 arXiv:quantph/0512125. Forthcoming in Butterfield and Earman (eds.) Handbook of Philosophy of Physics
, 2005
"... This Chapter deals with theoretical developments in the subject of quantum information and quantum computation, and includes an overview of classical information and some relevant quantum mechanics. The discussion covers topics in quantum communication, quantum cryptography, and quantum computation, ..."
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Cited by 4 (0 self)
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This Chapter deals with theoretical developments in the subject of quantum information and quantum computation, and includes an overview of classical information and some relevant quantum mechanics. The discussion covers topics in quantum communication, quantum cryptography, and quantum computation, and concludes by considering whether a perspective in terms of quantum information
Einstein and the KaluzaKlein particle
, 2000
"... In his search for a unified field theory that could undercut quantum mechanics, Einstein considered five dimensional classical KaluzaKlein theory. He studied this theory most intensively during the years 19381943. One of his primary objectives was finding a nonsingular particle solution. In the f ..."
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In his search for a unified field theory that could undercut quantum mechanics, Einstein considered five dimensional classical KaluzaKlein theory. He studied this theory most intensively during the years 19381943. One of his primary objectives was finding a nonsingular particle solution. In the full theory this search got frustrated and in the x⁵independent theory Einstein, together with Pauli, argued it would be impossible to find these structures.
Against ”Realism
"... We examine the prevalent use of the phrase “local realism ” in the context of Bell’s Theorem and associated experiments, with a focus on the question: what exactly is the ‘realism ’ in ‘local realism ’ supposed to mean? Carefully surveying several possible meanings, we argue that all of them are fla ..."
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We examine the prevalent use of the phrase “local realism ” in the context of Bell’s Theorem and associated experiments, with a focus on the question: what exactly is the ‘realism ’ in ‘local realism ’ supposed to mean? Carefully surveying several possible meanings, we argue that all of them are flawed in one way or another as attempts to point out a second premise (in addition to locality) on which the Bell inequalities rest, and (hence) which might be rejected in the face of empirical data violating the inequalities. We thus suggest that the phrase ‘local realism’ should be banned from future discussions of these issues, and urge physicists to revisit the foundational questions behind Bell’s Theorem. KEY WORDS: quantum mechanics; local realism; Bell’s theorem; EPR; quantum nonlocality
Heisenberg and the Nazi Atomic Bomb Project: A Study in German Culture (University of California
, 1998
"... In affectionate memory of Brian Dalton (1924–1996), Scholar, gentleman, leader, friend And in honor of my father's 80th birthday ..."
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In affectionate memory of Brian Dalton (1924–1996), Scholar, gentleman, leader, friend And in honor of my father's 80th birthday
Revisiting the First Postulate of Quantum Mechanics
 Invariance and Physically Reality”, Philosophy of Science Archive, http://philsciarchive.pitt.edu/11189
, 2014
"... In this paper we derive a theorem which proves that the physical interpretation implied by the first postulate of quantum mechanics (QM) is inconsistent with the orthodox formalism. In order to expose this inconsistency we will analyze how the concept of ‘physical system ’ is built within classical ..."
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In this paper we derive a theorem which proves that the physical interpretation implied by the first postulate of quantum mechanics (QM) is inconsistent with the orthodox formalism. In order to expose this inconsistency we will analyze how the concept of ‘physical system ’ is built within classical theories through the notion of invariance and explain in what sense a vector in Hilbert space is not capable of fulfilling these same mathematical conditions. Through an analysis of the mathematical formalism we derive a No Dynamical Invariance (NDI) theorem which proves that, contrary to what is claimed in the first postulate, a vector in Hilbert space cannot be interpreted coherently as the state of a physical (quantum) system. We conclude the paper by analyzing the consequences of the NDI theorem with respect to several ongoing debates in QM.
Quantum Bayesianism: A study
 Studies Hist. Phil. Mod. Phys
"... The Bayesian approach to quantum mechanics of Caves, Fuchs and Schack is presented. Its conjunction of realism about physics along with antirealism about much of the structure of quantum theory is elaborated; and the position defended from common objections: that it is solipsist; that it is too inst ..."
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The Bayesian approach to quantum mechanics of Caves, Fuchs and Schack is presented. Its conjunction of realism about physics along with antirealism about much of the structure of quantum theory is elaborated; and the position defended from common objections: that it is solipsist; that it is too instrumentalist; that it cannot deal with Wigner’s friend scenarios. Three more substantive problems are raised: Can a reasonable ontology be found for the approach? Can it account for explanation in quantum theory? Are subjective probabilities on their own adequate in the quantum domain? The first question is answered in the affirmative, drawing on elements from Nancy Cartwright’s philosophy of science. The second two are not: it is argued that these present outstanding difficulties for the project. A quantum Bayesian version of Moore’s paradox is developed to illustrate difficulties with the subjectivist account of pure state
Abduction or Inertia? The logic of syntactic change *
"... Two assumptions often considered principles of inquiry in historical generative syntax are that linguistic change is abductive (Andersen 1973) and that syntax is inert (Longobardi 2001). In this paper it is demonstrated that these two notions, if meaningfully interpreted, are not compatible: if we w ..."
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Two assumptions often considered principles of inquiry in historical generative syntax are that linguistic change is abductive (Andersen 1973) and that syntax is inert (Longobardi 2001). In this paper it is demonstrated that these two notions, if meaningfully interpreted, are not compatible: if we wish to develop a coherent theory of language acquisition and change, we must abandon one or the other. The conclusion reached is that that neither abduction nor inertia is a necessary or useful concept in diachronic syntax. I suggest that we should abandon both, instead treating syntactic change on its own terms. Two assumptions often considered principles of inquiry in historical generative syntax are that linguistic change is abductive (Andersen 1973) and that syntax is inert (Longobardi 2001). In this paper it is demonstrated that these two notions, if meaningfully interpreted, are not compatible: if we wish to develop a coherent theory of language acquisition and change, we must abandon one or the other, with important consequences for the way we conceptualize syntactic change. The paper is structured in four sections. In the first I present abduction, as introduced into the linguistic literature by Andersen (1973), and outline problems with the notion. Section 2 does the same for the concept of inertia. In Section 3 I outline how, and why, the two concepts are mutually incompatible. Section 4 concludes. 1. ABDUCTION AND ITS PROBLEMS The notion of abduction as a form of inference originated with the American semiotician and philosopher Charles Sanders Peirce. Andersen (1973) was the first linguist to incorporate it into a theory of language change. The following is his exposition (highly problematic, as I will demonstrate), which many linguists have followed (e.g. Lightfoot 1979; McMahon 1994;
Which finetuning arguments are fine?
, 2009
"... The argument from naturalness is widely employed in contemporary quantum field theory. Essentially a formalized aesthetic criterion, it received a meaning in the debate on the Higgs mechanism, which goes beyond aesthetics. We follow the history of technical definitions of fine tuning at the scale of ..."
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The argument from naturalness is widely employed in contemporary quantum field theory. Essentially a formalized aesthetic criterion, it received a meaning in the debate on the Higgs mechanism, which goes beyond aesthetics. We follow the history of technical definitions of fine tuning at the scale of electroweak symmetry breaking. It is argued that they give rise to a special interpretation of probability, which we call Gedankenfrequency. By extension of its original meaning, the argument from naturalness is used to compare different models beyond the Standard Model. We show that in this case naturalness cannot be defined objectively. Rather, it functions as sociohistorical heuristics in particle physics and it contributes to the advent of a probabilistic version of Popper’s falsificationism. 1