Access

You are not currently logged in.

Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:

login

Log in to your personal account or through your institution.

Chasing Chimeras

Wayne C. Myrvold
The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science
Vol. 60, No. 3 (Sep., 2009), pp. 635-646
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25592022
Page Count: 12
  • Download ($42.00)
  • Cite this Item
Chasing Chimeras
Preview not available

Abstract

Earman and Ruetsche ([2005]) have cast their gaze upon existing no-go theorems for relativistic modal interpretations, and have found them inconclusive. They suggest that it would be more fruitful to investigate modal interpretations proposed for 'really relativistic theories,' that is, algebraic relativistic quantum field theories. They investigate the proposal of (Clifton [2000]), and extend Clifton's result that, for a host of states, his proposal yields no definite observables other than multiples of the identity. This leads Earman and Ruetsche to a suspicion that troubles for modal interpretations of such relativistic theories 'are due less to the Poincaré invariance of relativistic QFT vs. the Galilean invariance of ordinary nonrelativistic QM than to the infinite number of degrees of freedom of former vs. the finite number of degrees of freedom of the latter' (pp. 577-8). I am skeptical of this suggestion. Though there are troubles for modal interpretations of relativistic quantum field theory that are due to its being a field theory-that is, due to infinitude of the degrees of freedom-they are not the only troubles faced by modal interpretations of quantum theories set in relativistic spacetime; there are also troubles traceable to relativistic causal structure.

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
[635]
    [635]
  • Thumbnail: Page 
636
    636
  • Thumbnail: Page 
637
    637
  • Thumbnail: Page 
638
    638
  • Thumbnail: Page 
639
    639
  • Thumbnail: Page 
640
    640
  • Thumbnail: Page 
641
    641
  • Thumbnail: Page 
642
    642
  • Thumbnail: Page 
643
    643
  • Thumbnail: Page 
644
    644
  • Thumbnail: Page 
645
    645
  • Thumbnail: Page 
646
    646