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::: center home >> events >> lunchtime >> 2004-05 >> abstracts

Tuesday, 25 January 2005

Holism and Nonsupervenience in Quantum Mechanics

Martin Thomson-Jones

Oberlin College

12:05 pm, 817R Cathedral of Learning

Abstract: I will argue that although part-whole relations in quantum-mechanical systems are indeed metaphysically striking, the most promising of the available approaches to understanding talk of holism in quantum mechanics, according to which holism is nonsupervenience of a certain sort, can only be maintained by taking on a significant range of previously unnoticed metaphysical and interpretive commitments - significant enough to provide most of us with reason for rejecting the idea that holism is nonsupervenience. I will also argue, nonetheless, that there is good reason to link the appearance of nonlocal correlations to the instantiation of peculiar part-whole relations in quantum mechanics. The upshot is we are still in need of a satisfying account of what it means to say that there is holism in quantum mechanics.

Revised 3/11/08 - Copyright 2006