Reply To: Holism and time symmetry


Thanks Ken. Maybe I should clarify my clarification: What I had in mind was something like the ontology I sketch in here:
The measurement direction constitutes the retrocausal influence from the measurement back to the source, and the actual spin value constitutes the forward-causal influence from the source to the measurement. Which sounds like what you meant by associating the hidden variables with particular directions, rather than the measured value. (Depending on what counts as the hidden variable.) If so, I’m fully on board with that. (This paper was written rather quickly, and some of the explanation is inadequate — sorry that it was so unclear!)

I agree that it’s tricky to avoid trivializing the explanation in retrocausal stories (the explanation of the spin-up result is the spin-up result). And I agree with Travis Norsen that measuring devices can’t have a special role, so appealing to measurement to fix the boundary conditions has to be done carefully. But like you, I don’t see any reason it can’t be done. I touch on both these issues in the paper I mentioned above.

Anyway, basically I need to think more carefully about the ontology for retrocausal QM. But for present purposes, do you think it’s OK to say that there are several non-holistic options of the table, including your anomalous rotation account and Huw’s two-spin account?

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