## Quantum Ontology: A Guide to the Metaphysics of Quantum MechanicsMetaphysicians should pay attention to quantum mechanics. Why? Not because it provides definitive answers to many metaphysical questions-the theory itself is remarkably silent on the nature of the physical world, and the various interpretations of the theory on offer present conflicting ontological pictures. Rather, quantum mechanics is essential to the metaphysician because it reshapes standard metaphysical debates and opens up unforeseen new metaphysical possibilities. Even if quantum mechanics provides few clear answers, there are good reasons to think that any adequate understanding of the quantum world will result in a radical reshaping of our classical world-view in some way or other. Whatever the world is like at the atomic scale, it is almost certainly not the swarm of particles pushed around by forces that is often presupposed. This book guides readers through the theory of quantum mechanics and its implications for metaphysics in a clear and accessible way. The theory and its various interpretations are presented with a minimum of technicality. The consequences of these interpretations for metaphysical debates concerning realism, indeterminacy, causation, determinism, holism, and individuality (among other topics) are explored in detail, stressing the novel form that the debates take given the empirical facts in the quantum domain. While quantum mechanics may not deliver unconditional pronouncements on these issues, the range of possibilities consistent with our knowledge of the empirical world is relatively small-and each possibility is metaphysically revisionary in some way. This book will appeal to researchers, students, and anybody else interested in how science informs our world-view. |

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#### LibraryThing Review

User Review - fpagan - LibraryThingLewis offers a survey -- a quite objective one, as far as I can tell -- of what modern-day philosophers have to say about the basics of quantum physics. Regarding QM interpretations, he concentrates ... Read full review

#### LibraryThing Review

User Review - jefware - LibraryThingBasically a book about how to rescue material determinism from the spectre of quantum indeterminancy. Read full review

### Contents

1 Phenomena and Theory | 1 |

2 Realism | 25 |

3 Underdetermination | 44 |

4 Indeterminacy | 72 |

5 Causation | 107 |

6 Determinism | 128 |

7 Dimensions | 151 |

8 Parts and Wholes | 165 |

9 Six Quantum Worlds | 179 |

Notes | 183 |

194 | |

203 | |

### Other editions - View all

Quantum Ontology: A Guide to the Metaphysics of Quantum Mechanics Peter J. Lewis Limited preview - 2016 |

Quantum Ontology: A Guide to the Metaphysics of Quantum Mechanics Peter J. Lewis Limited preview - 2016 |

### Common terms and phrases

according argument assumption basic Bell’s theorem Bohm’s theory Bohmian particles Bohr Born rule branching structure causal explanation Chapter choice classical mechanics collapse process configuration space coordinates correlations counting anomaly describe determinable property determinate value deterministic direction distinct dynamical law eigenstate empirical entails entangled example fact flash fuzzy link GRW collapse GRW theory hence hidden variable theories high-dimensional holism Humean supervenience indeterminate interference interpretations of quantum Kochen-Specker theorem looks macroscopic objects many-worlds theory marbles mass density matrix mechanics measure the spin measurement outcomes measurement postulate metaphysical no-go theorems nonlocality observer ontology pattern physical properties position possible precise predict probability quantum indeterminacy quantum mechanics quantum phenomena quantum theory region represent representation retrocausal Schrödinger dynamics Schrödinger equation screen second electron slit special relativity spin measurement spin properties squared amplitude strict link superposition supervenience theory of quantum three-dimensional space trajectories vague link vector violate wave function amplitude wave packet z-spin