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Wanted Dead or Alive: Two Attempts to Solve Schrödinger's Paradox

David Albert and Barry Loewer
PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association
Vol. 1990, Volume One: Contributed Papers (1990), pp. 277-285
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/192710
Page Count: 9
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Wanted Dead or Alive: Two Attempts to Solve Schrödinger's Paradox
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Abstract

We discuss two recent attempts two solve Schrödinger's cat paradox. One is the modal interpretation developed by Kochen, Healey, Dieks, and van Fraassen. It allows for an observable which pertains to a system to possess a value even when the system is not in an eigenstate of that observable. The other is a recent theory of the collapse of the wave function due to Ghirardi, Rimini, and Weber. It posits a dynamics which has the effect of collapsing the state of macroscopic systems. We argue that the modal interpretation cannot account for non-accurate measurements and that both accounts have the consequence that in ordinary measurement situations (including the situation of Schrödinger's cat) the observables that ends up well defined are not quite the ones that we want to be well defined.

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