Contributing editor (with Paolo Brenni, Klaus Hentschel, and Jurgen Renn) to Martin J. Klein, A.J. Kox, and Robert Schulmann, eds., The Collected Papers of Albert Einstein. Volume 5: The Swiss Years: Correspondence, 1902-1914. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1993.
"Measurement Error and the Albert-Loewer Problem." Foundations of Physics Letters (August 1995), 8(4):327-344.
"On The Verge of Collapse: Modal Interpretations of Quantum
Mechanics." PhD Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh, 1995.
Advisor: John Earman.
Abstract in Dissertation Abstracts International (July 1996), 57(1A):263-A.
Abstract: The conjunction of Schrodinger dynamics and the usual way of thinking about the conditions under which quantum systems exhibit determinate values implies that measurements don't have outcomes. The orthodox fix to this quantum measurement problem is von Neumann's postulate of measurement collapse, which suspends Schrodinger dynamics in measurement contexts. Contending that the fundamental dynamical law of quantum theory breaks down every time we test the theory empirically, the collapse postulate is unsatisfactory. Recently philosophers (e.g., van Fraassen and Healey) and physicists (e.g., Kochen and Dieks) have proposed a less violent solution to the measurement problem. Their modal interpretations of quantum mechanics advocate unusual ways of thinking about the situations under which quantum systems exhibit determinate observable values, semantics which reconcile determinate measurement outcomes with universal Schrodinger dynamics. Thus modal interpretations hold out hope that quantum theory is complete and exceptionless. This dissertation tempers that hope. I consider the modal approach to the neglected problem of state preparation. A promising modal account exploits standard quantum transition probabilities. But, I claim, modal interpretations must subject these transition probabilities to a consistency constraint which they can be shown to violate. Non-standard transition probabilities might avoid this inconsistency, but they would also introduce novel dynamics, and so undo the modal triumph of taking Schrodinger dynamics to be complete and universal. Next I consider Albert and Loewer's assault on modal accounts of 'error-prone' measurements. I argue that the Albert-Loewer problem is more general than Albert, Loewer, or their critics appreciate, and that the Araki-Yanase theorem implies the existence of a class of observables whose error-free measurements succumb to the Albert-Loewer problem. I review modal responses to Albert and Loewer which appeal to the palliative effects of a decohering environment and find them incomplete. Finally, based on the physicist Anthony Leggett's work with SQUIDs, I present a system concerning which the empirical commitments of modal interpretations contradict those of the quantum statistical algorithm, minimally interpreted. I conclude that these modal difficulties can be resolved only by taking the quantum formalism to be incomplete.
"Van Fraassen on Preparation and Measurement."
Philosophy of Science (September 1996), 63(3, Supplement):S338-S346.
This issue is edited by Lindley Darden. PSA 1996: Proceedings of the 1996 Biennial Meetings of the Philosophy of Science Association, Part I: Contributed Papers.
"How Close is 'Close Enough'." In Dennis Dieks and Pieter E. Vermaas, eds., The Modal Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics, pp. 223-240. The Western Ontario Series in Philosophy of Science, 60. Dordrecht & Boston, Mass.: Kluwer, 1998.
Review of Jeffrey Bub's Interpreting the Quantum World. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science (December 1998), 49(4):637-641.
(with Rob Clifton.) "Changing the Subject: Redei on Causal
Dependence and Screening Off in
Relativistic Quantum Field Theory." Philosophy of Science,
(September 1999), 66(3, Supplement):S156-S169.
This issue is edited by Don A. Howard. PSA 1998: Proceedings of the 1998 Biennial Meetings of the Philosophy of Science Association, Part I: Contributed Papers.
(with Gordon Belot, and John Earman.) "The Hawking Information Loss Paradox: The Anatomy of a Controversy." British Journal for the Philosophy of Science (June 1999), 50(2):189-230.
(with Martin Carrier and Gerald J. Massey.) "Introduction: Science at the End of the Century: Prospects and Limits of Science." In Laura Ruetsche, Martin Carrier, and Gerald J. Massey, eds., Science at Century's End: Philosophical Questions on the Progress and Limits of Science. Pittsburgh-Konstanz Series in the Philosophy and History of Science. Pittsburgh, Pa.: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2000.
Review of Elena Castellani, ed., Interpreting Bodies: Classical and Quantum Objects in Modern Physics. Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics (September 2000), 31(3):413-417.
Edited (with Martin Carrier and Gerald J. Massey.)
Science at Century's End: Philosophical Questions on the Progress
and Limits of Science.
Pittsburgh-Konstanz Series in the Philosophy and History of Science.
Pittsburgh, Pa.: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2000.
Fourth Pittsburgh-Konstanz Colloquium held in Pittsburgh, October 3-7, 1997.
"Toward the Pale: Cosmological Darwinism and the Limits of Science." In Laura Ruetsche, Martin Carrier, and Gerald J. Massey, eds., Science at Century's End: Philosophical Questions on the Progress and Limits of Science. Pittsburgh-Konstanz Series in the Philosophy and History of Science. Pittsburgh, Pa.: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2000.
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