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Position Measurements and the Empirical Status of Particles in Bohmian Mechanics

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 January 2022

Abstract

The article addresses the debate about the empirical status of particles versus wave functions in Bohmian quantum mechanics. It thereby clarifies questions and misconceptions about the role of the particles in the measurement process, the (un)reliability of position measurements (surrealistic trajectories), and the limited empirical access to particle positions (absolute uncertainty). Taking the ontological commitment of Bohmian mechanics seriously, all relevant empirical results follow from an analysis of the theory in terms of particle motions. Finally, we address the question of why particle motions rather than patterns in the wave function would be the supervenience base of conscious experience.

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Copyright © The Philosophy of Science Association

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Footnotes

I am grateful to Andrea Oldofredi for helpful comments and to Shan Gao for an inspiring discussion. I gratefully acknowledge funding by the Swiss National Science Foundation Doc.Mobility Fellowship P1LAP1_184150.

References

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