Volume 1, Issue 2, pages 65-84
Travis Norsen [Show Biography]
This is a polemical response to Howard Wiseman’s recent paper, “The two Bell’s theorems of John Bell”. Wiseman argues that, in 1964, Bell established a conflict between the quantum mechanical predictions and the joint assumptions of determinism and (what is now usually known as) “parameter independence”. Only later, in 1976, did Bell, according to Wiseman, first establish a conflict between the quantum mechanical predictions and locality alone (in the specific form that Bell would sometimes call “local causality”). Thus, according to Wiseman, the long-standing disagreements about what, exactly, Bell’s theorem does and does not prove can be understood largely as miscommunications resulting from the fact that there are really two quite distinct “Bell’s theorems”. My goal here is to lay out what Wiseman briefly describes as an “alternate reading” of Bell’s 1964 paper, according to which (quoting Wiseman here) “the first paragraph of Bell’s ‘Formulation’ section [should be seen] as an essential part of his 1964 theorem, the first part of a two-part argument.” I will argue in particular that this “alternate reading” is the correct way to understand Bell’s 1964 paper and that Wiseman’s reading is strongly inconsistent with the available evidence.