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Philosophy of quantum mechanics and the metaphysics of dispositional properties

Objective

The project aims to connect the research in the metaphysics of dispositional properties with some interpretative issues brought about by quantum mechanics. One of the most intriguing phenomena occurring in the quantum world is the apparent causal connection between spatially separated systems, known as the phenomenon of non-locality. The initial goal of the project is to analyse the nature and metaphysical consequences of non-local interactions occurring in quantum entangled systems with the help of the notion of irreducible quantum dispositions. In order to achieve this goal, an extensive investigation into modern metaphysics of dispositions is required. As part of the project, several important questions regarding the nature of dispositional properties will be considered. Among them will be the question whether dispositions can be defined with the help of counterfactual conditionals, as well as the problem of the relation between dispositional properties and their categorical bases. In connection with the latter issue, the possibility of ‘bare’ dispositions, i.e. dispositions that have no categorical causal bases, will be thoroughly examined. Further metaphysical issues in the purview of the project include the question of the intrinsicness of dispositional properties, as well as their causal efficacy. The ultimate objective of these investigations is to explore the possibility that there may be dispositions which are extrinsic, irreducible to any categorical properties, causally inert, and fully explicable with the help of counterfactual conditionals. Around the notion of such dispositions an interpretation of quantum mechanics can be hopefully built which not only will avoid some pitfalls of non-locality, but possibly throw a new light on other interpretative issues such as the measurement problem.

Field of science

  • /natural sciences/physical sciences/quantum physics
  • /humanities/philosophy, ethics and religion/philosophy/metaphysics

Call for proposal

FP7-PEOPLE-2007-2-1-IEF
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

MC-IEF - Intra-European Fellowships (IEF)

Coordinator

UNIVERSITY OF BRISTOL
Address
Beacon House Queens Road
BS8 1QU Bristol
United Kingdom
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 118 685,69
Administrative Contact
Mike Hobbs (Mr.)