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Nonlocal Influences and Possible Worlds--A Stapp in the Wrong Direction

Robert K. Clifton, Jeremy N. Butterfield and Michael L. G. Redhead
The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science
Vol. 41, No. 1 (Mar., 1990), pp. 5-58
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/688002
Page Count: 54
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Nonlocal Influences and Possible Worlds--A Stapp in the Wrong Direction
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Abstract

Stapp ([1971], [1977], [1985a], henceforth Stapp 1) claims to give a proof of the existence of nonlocal influences acting on correlated spin-1/2 particles in the singlet state which does not require any particular interpretation of quantum mechanics (QM). (Except Stapp holds that the proof fails under a many-worlds interpretation of QM--a claim we analyse in 1.2.) Recently, in responding to Redhead's ([1987], pp. 90-6) criticism that the Stapp 1 proof fails under an indeterministic interpretation of QM, Stapp [1989] (henceforth Stapp 2), has revised the logical structure of his proof including its crucial locality assumption. Our main aim is to show that this revision is a step in the wrong direction because it faces two difficulties which undermine the resulting proof's significance (3.1) and validity (3.2). We also clarify and extend the Stapp 1 proof (1.1) with the aid of Lewis' analysis of counterfactuals (1.2) and causal dependence (2.2 and 2.3). In so doing, we are able to identify two new defects in the Stapp 1 proof (1.3 and 2.1) in addition to corroborating Redhead's criticism (2.2). Also, the additional assumptions which save the Stapp 1 proof's validity are detailed (2.3) and some new difficulties for the determinist are pointed out by exploiting a slightly extended version of the proof (2.4). In providing this full analysis of the Stapp 1 proof, we also construct the necessary framework within which to provide a critique of Stapp 2's proof (3).

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