What Retrocausal Explanations Look Like

Ken Wharton

Submitted to “Quantum Nonlocality and Reality – 50 Years of Bell’s theorem”

While it is generally known that retrocausal models can provide an account of Bell-inequality violations in terms of spacetime-local beables, new models can now explicitly show how this comes about. By analyzing a simple local-beable model that precisely recovers the quantum joint probabilities for measurements on a Bell state, general concerns about retrocausal models can be analyzed at a much deeper level than previously possible. (Including questions of locality, fine-tuning, free-settings, etc.) While I certainly have not covered all possible concerns, it will be interested to see whether other general concerns actually apply to this specific model, instead of mere straw-man alternatives.

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Ken Wharton is a professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at San Jose State University. His field is quantum foundations, with a particular interest in time-symmetric and Lagrangian-based approaches (and with strong sympathies to the psi-epistemic camp).