Disagreement, Bell’s Inequalities and Realism: The Role of Epistemic Values in Contemporary Approaches to Quantum Mechanics
29 Pages Posted: 25 Jun 2013 Last revised: 30 Aug 2014
Date Written: June 24, 2013
This paper analyzes, in the particular research context of measurements on quantum systems, the role of conflicts concerning epistemic values usually part of the epistemic framework of physics. Through a study of four competing conceptual frameworks in quantum mechanics that have the same predictive power, this analysis shows that the debate concerning these approaches can be considered as a case of faultless disagreement, provided that their criteria for assessing the epistemic standing of scientific theories are different. The paper argues in particular that the adoption of such criteria does not result from arbitrary choices, but rather echoes the way each research program aims to build a coherent vision based on a recognized epistemic framework. Moreover, our article insists on the necessity of an analysis of these specificities and of the consequently admitted epistemic values to ensure a proper understanding of the claims made in the different approaches, in particular with respect to the issue of realism.
Keywords: disagreement; epistemic values; realism; quantum mechanics; EPR; Bell’s inequalities
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