Objective consequentialism and the plurality of chances

上午8:00 | | | Latest Results for Synthese |

**Abstract**

I claim that objective consequentialism (OC) faces a problem stemming from the existence in some situations of a plurality of chances relevant to the outcomes of an agent’s acts. I suggest that this phenomenon bears structural resemblance to the well-known Reference Class problem. I outline a few ways in which one could attempt to deal with the issue, suggesting that it is the higher-level chance that should be employed by OC.

The non-ideal theory of the Aharonov–Bohm effect

上午8:00 | | | Latest Results for Synthese |

**Abstract**

Elay Shech and John Earman have recently argued that the common topological interpretation of the Aharonov–Bohm (AB) effect is unsatisfactory because it fails to justify idealizations that it presupposes. In particular, they argue that an adequate account of the AB effect must address the role of boundary conditions in certain ideal cases of the effect. In this paper I defend the topological interpretation against their criticisms. I consider three types of idealization that might arise in treatments of the effect. First, Shech takes the AB effect to involve an idealization in the form of a singular limit, analogous to the thermodynamic limit in statistical mechanics. But, I argue, the AB effect itself features no singular limits, so it doesn’t involve idealizations in this sense. Second, I argue that Shech and Earman’s emphasis on the role of boundary conditions in the AB effect is misplaced. The idealizations that are useful in connecting the theoretical description of the AB effect to experiment do interact with facts about boundary conditions, but none of these idealizations are presupposed by the topological interpretation of the effect. Indeed, the boundary conditions for which Shech and demands justification are incompatible with some instances of the AB effect, so the topological interpretation ought not justify them. Finally, I address the role of the non-relativistic approximation usually presumed in discussions of the AB effect. This approximation is essential if—as the topological interpretation supposes—the AB effect constrains and justifies a relativistic theory of the electromagnetic interaction. In this case the ends justify the means. So the topological view presupposes no unjustified idealizations.

Effective theories and infinite idealizations: a challenge for scientific realism

上午8:00 | | | Latest Results for Synthese |

**Abstract**

Williams and J. Fraser have recently argued that effective field theory methods enable scientific realists to make more reliable ontological commitments in quantum field theory (QFT) than those commonly made. In this paper, I show that the interpretative relevance of these methods extends beyond the specific context of QFT by identifying common structural features shared by effective theories across physics. In particular, I argue that effective theories are best characterized by the fact that they contain intrinsic empirical limitations, and I extract from their structure one central interpretative constraint for making more reliable ontological commitments in different subfields of physics. While this is in principle good news, this constraint still raises a challenge for scientific realists in some contexts, and I bring the point home by focusing on Williams’s and J. Fraser’s defense of selective realism in QFT.

Work done in a decoherence process. (arXiv:2109.09135v2 [quant-ph] UPDATED)

上午10:05 | | | Gianluca Francica | | | quant-ph updates on arXiv.org |

We investigate the thermodynamics of a quench realized by turning on an interaction generating pure decoherence. We characterize the work probability distribution function, also with a fluctuation relation, a lower bound of the work and by considering some physical examples.

上午10:05 | | | Hendra I. Nurdin, John E. Gough | | | quant-ph updates on arXiv.org |

A general theory of quantum stochastic processes was formulated by Accardi, Frigerio and Lewis in 1982 within the operator-algebraic framework of quantum probability theory, as a non-commutative extension of the Kolmogorovian classical stochastic processes. More recently, studies on non-Markovian quantum processes have led to the discrete-time process tensor formalism in the Schr\”{o}dinger picture to describe the outcomes of sequential interventions on open quantum systems. However, there has been no treatment of the relationship of the process tensor formalism to the quantum probabilistic theory of quantum stochastic processes. This paper gives an exposition of quantum stochastic processes and the process tensor and the relationship between them. In particular, it is shown how the latter emerges from the former via extended correlation kernels incorporating ancillas.

上午10:05 | | | physics.hist-ph updates on arXiv.org |

Authors: Indrajit Sen

In a recent article (arXiv:2108.08144), Hance, Hossenfelder and Palmer have advanced arguments claiming to show that the analysis of Invariant-set theory in a hidden-variable setting (arXiv:2107.04761) is wrong. We explain here why these arguments are incorrect, and involve misunderstandings of the hidden-variable model in question and Bell’s notion of local causality.

上午10:05 | | | physics.hist-ph updates on arXiv.org |

Authors: Zhi-Wei Wang, Samuel L. Braunstein

It is hard to look at the universe and not wonder about the meaning, of, well, everything. A natural question is whether what we see is a sign of intelligent design. The antithesis of design would be a random universe or, assuming laws of physics, one whose fundamental physical parameters were randomly selected, but conditioned on life (ourselves) being here to observe it. In unpublished work, the British physicist Dennis Sciama argued that such a randomly selected universe would display a statistical signature. He concluded that a random universe would almost certainly have parameters only just allowing for the possibility of life. Here we consider whether this signature is definitive. We find that with plausible additional assumptions Sciama’s signature would appear to reverse: Were our universe random, it could give the false impression of being intelligently designed, with the fundamental constants appearing to be fine-tuned to a strong probability for life to emerge and be maintained.

On the energy of gravitational waves. (arXiv:2109.06864v2 [gr-qc] UPDATED)

上午10:05 | | | gr-qc updates on arXiv.org |

Authors: Rong-Gen Cai, Xing-Yu Yang, Long Zhao

The energy of gravitational waves (GWs) is a fundamental problem in gravity theory. The existing descriptions for the energy of GWs, such as the well-known Isaacson energy-momentum tensor, suffer from several defects. Due to the equivalence principle, the gravitational energy-momentum can only be defined quasilocally, being associated with a closed spacelike 2-surface bounding a region. We propose a new approach to derive the energy of GWs directly from the quasilocal gravitational energy. Such an approach is natural and consistent with the quasilocality of gravitational energy-momentum, and it is valid for GWs with any wavelengths in any order of perturbations.

Quantum Hypothesis Testing for Exoplanet Detection

2021年9月23日 星期四 下午6:00 | | | Zixin Huang and Cosmo Lupo | | | PRL: General Physics: Statistical and Quantum Mechanics, Quantum Information, etc. |

Author(s): Zixin Huang and Cosmo Lupo

Treating stars and planets as quantum objects could make it easier for astronomers to directly image exoplanets.

[Phys. Rev. Lett. 127, 130502] Published Thu Sep 23, 2021

ΛCDM and MOND: A Debate about Models or Theory?

2021年9月22日 星期三 下午4:19 | | | Philsci-Archive: No conditions. Results ordered -Date Deposited. |

Jacquart, Melissa (2021) ΛCDM and MOND: A Debate about Models or Theory? [Preprint]

When do Gibbsian Phase Averages and Boltzmannian Equilibrium Values Agree?

2021年9月21日 星期二 下午3:06 | | | Philsci-Archive: No conditions. Results ordered -Date Deposited. |

Werndl, Charlotte and Frigg, Roman (2020) When do Gibbsian Phase Averages and Boltzmannian Equilibrium Values Agree? [Preprint]

The Process Metaphysics of Loop Quantum Gravity

2021年9月21日 星期二 下午3:03 | | | Philsci-Archive: No conditions. Results ordered -Date Deposited. |

Calamari, Martin (2021) The Process Metaphysics of Loop Quantum Gravity. UNSPECIFIED.

Governing Without A Fundamental Direction of Time: Minimal Primitivism about Laws of Nature

2021年9月21日 星期二 下午3:01 | | | Philsci-Archive: No conditions. Results ordered -Date Deposited. |

Chen, Eddy Keming and Goldstein, Sheldon (2021) Governing Without A Fundamental Direction of Time: Minimal Primitivism about Laws of Nature. [Preprint]

2021年9月21日 星期二 下午2:58 | | | Philsci-Archive: No conditions. Results ordered -Date Deposited. |

ROVELLI, Carlo The Relational Interpretation. UNSPECIFIED.

The Measurement Problem of Consciousness (Preprint)

2021年9月21日 星期二 下午2:57 | | | Philsci-Archive: No conditions. Results ordered -Date Deposited. |

Browning, Heather and Veit, Walter (2021) The Measurement Problem of Consciousness (Preprint). [Preprint]

Logic, Philosophy and Physics: A Critical Commentary on the Dilemma of Categories

2021年9月18日 星期六 下午4:35 | | | Philsci-Archive: No conditions. Results ordered -Date Deposited. |

Majhi, Abhishek (2021) Logic, Philosophy and Physics: A Critical Commentary on the Dilemma of Categories. Axiomathes. ISSN 1572-8390

Scientific Progress and Aesthetic Values

2021年9月18日 星期六 下午4:34 | | | Philsci-Archive: No conditions. Results ordered -Date Deposited. |

Ivanova, Milena (2021) Scientific Progress and Aesthetic Values. [Preprint]

Three facets of time-reversal symmetry

2021年9月18日 星期六 下午4:34 | | | Philsci-Archive: No conditions. Results ordered -Date Deposited. |

López, Cristian (2021) Three facets of time-reversal symmetry. [Preprint]

Time’s Direction and Orthodox Quantum Mechanics: Time Symmetry and Measurement

2021年9月18日 星期六 下午4:33 | | | Philsci-Archive: No conditions. Results ordered -Date Deposited. |

Lopez, Cristian (2021) Time’s Direction and Orthodox Quantum Mechanics: Time Symmetry and Measurement. [Preprint]

The Physics and the Philosophy of Time Reversal in Standard Quantum Mechanics

2021年9月18日 星期六 下午4:33 | | | Philsci-Archive: No conditions. Results ordered -Date Deposited. |

Lopez, Cristian (2021) The Physics and the Philosophy of Time Reversal in Standard Quantum Mechanics. [Preprint]

Neo-Lorentzian Relativity and the Beginning of the Universe

2021年9月18日 星期六 下午4:30 | | | Philsci-Archive: No conditions. Results ordered -Date Deposited. |

Linford, Daniel (2021) Neo-Lorentzian Relativity and the Beginning of the Universe. [Preprint]