Wuthrich vs Cartwright on QM interpretation & orthoPutnamism

Discussions on the philosophical foundations, assumptions, and implications of science, including the natural sciences.

Wuthrich vs Cartwright on QM interpretation & orthoPutnamism

Postby Marshall on June 23rd, 2014, 9:10 pm 

Putnam looks at quantum mechanics (again and again)
Christian Wuthrich
(Submitted on 22 Jun 2014)
Hilary Putnam (1965, 2005) has argued that from a realist perspective, quantum mechanics stands in need of an interpretation. Ironically, this hypothesis may appear vulnerable against arguments drawing on Putnam's own work. Nancy Cartwright (2005) has urged that his 1962 essay on the meaning of theoretical terms suggests that quantum mechanics needs no interpretation and thus stands in tension with his claim of three years later. She furthermore contends that this conflict should be resolved in favour of the earlier work, as quantum mechanics, like all successful theories, does not need an interpretation. The first part of this essay deflates both of these objections. The second part addresses and evaluates Putnam's own assessments of the main interpretative options available in 1965 and 2005. Although we may disagree on some aspects, his pessimistic conclusion will come out largely unscathed, and, in fact, enhanced. I will close by briefly stating the historical relevance of this work.
27 pages. To appear in Michael Frauchiger (ed.), Themes from Putnam (Lauener Library of Analytical Philosophy, Volume 5, edited by W. K. Essler and M. Frauchiger) Berlin: De Gruyter

I've been well-impressed by what I've seen from BOTH Christian Wuthrich and Nancy Cartwright. Both top contemporary Philosophers of Science AFAICS. I was a bit surprised to see Wuth attacking Cart's position, and also finding myself leaning towards agreeing with him. Others here may understand this controversy in greater depth, so I post the link in case there is interest.

Re: Wuthrich vs Cartwright on QM interpretation & orthoPutna

Postby Marshall on June 23rd, 2014, 9:19 pm 

Hilary Putnam who is 87, still has some hair and his mischievous Bugs Bunny smile. He is an important figure in Phil of Sci.
It seems to matter how younger folk like Wuth and Cart parse Putnam's views on Quantum Mechanicks.
Brain, if anyone, will understand :^D but he's busy housemoving at present, I believe.

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