Reply To: What’s wrong with the wave function?


A couple of comments:

“But epistemic construals of the wave function face formidable ob-
stacles, most notably a number of no-go theorems (Bell 1964; Kochen and
Specker 1967; Pusey, Barrett and Rudolph 2012).”

What is it about Bell and Kochen-Specker that you think an obstacle to epistemic construals of the wave function? Those theorems make no assumptions about the status of the wave function, so they apply equally well to theories in which the wave function is ontic. Why is there any special difficulty for epistemic approaches?

“The sticking place, as one might expect, is interference: if the wave function is purely epistemic, how can it exhibit interference effects?”

I don’t know how many times I have said this, but there is no problem of principle with interference in theories where the wave function is epistemic, even without retrocausality. Spekkens’ toy theory paper ( contains a section on interference, which, given how often interference is pointed to as a problem, it is obvious that few people have read.

OK, you might say, but this only gives a qualitative account of interference and does not reproduce the cos^2 distribution of a real interference experiment. To which I would respond that it is usually the qualitative aspects that people are referring to when they argue that interference is problematic. But fine, we are still working on that.

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