2014 | 22 | 1(85) | 5-23
Article title

Quantum Dispositions and the Notion of Measurement

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The dispositional account of quantum properties faces the following circularity problem: properties of a system are defined as dispositions (probabilistic or deterministic) to give rise to certain outcomes upon measurements, but measurements in turn are generally characterized with reference to the very same dispositions. I consider one way of escaping the difficulty with regard to probabilistic dispositions by applying a theorem due to Peter Mittelstaedt. The theorem enables us to give a probability-free characterization of quantum measurements, thus eliminating the need of referring back to probabilistic dispositions of the system. However, the circularity problem remains for deterministic dispositions. I give arguments why we should resist the temptation to interpret eigenstates as categorical properties, and I discuss possible alternative solutions to the problem.
Physical description
  • University of Warsaw, Institute of Philosophy, ul. Krakowskie Przedmieście 3, 00-927 Warszawa, Poland
  • University of California, San Diego, Department of Philosophy, 9500 Gilman Drive #0119, La Jolla, CA 92093-0119, USA
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