Philosophy of Quantum Physics

Workshop by Michel Bitbol


Professor Michel Bitbol is a philosopher of science, director of research at CNRS, previously in the Centre de Recherche en Epistémologie Appliquée of École polytechnique, and member of Husserl Archives, Ecole Normale Superieure; author of Quantum Mechanics: a Philosophical Introduction (1997), Schrödinger's Philosophy of Quantum Mechanics, (1996), La pratique des possibles, une Lecture Pragmatiste et Modale de la Mécanique Quantique, (2015) and Maintenant la Finitude (2019)

on 10 January 2020, from 10 am to 1 pm  

in HSS Committee Room (MS610)


" Recent Developments in the Philosophy of Quantum Physics : QBism and
the Dissolution of Quantum Paradoxes " 

According to recent approaches, the quantum revolution is above all a revolution in our conception of knowledge. Information theorists, pragmatist philosophers of physics, and supporters of subjectivist probabilities, agree about the main stumbling block of the interpretation of quantum mechanics: trying to imagine the world this theory represents, instead of questioning the very assumption that it be understood as representing the world. The so-called paradoxes arise from this representationalist prejudice, and (as will be shown in this talk) they are automatically dissolved as soon as quantum mechanics is understood as a coherent system of anticipation of events. Not any events, however: events that are triggered by interventions of the very agents who try to anticipate them.
This being granted, one may wonder which alternative non-representationalist ontology (if any) can make sense of quantum mechanics. Two such alternative ontologies will be compared: Chris Fuchs’ participatory realism, and Merleau-Ponty’s endo-ontology.