Quantum Pure Possibilities and Macroscopic Actual Reality

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This Chapter treats quantum pure possibilities as individuals, existing independently of any observer or mind. These pure possibilities are also absolutely independent of any metaphysical or logical view that endorses the notion of possible worlds. In my view, the relationship between quantum possibilities and classical physical reality is not between reality as such, as it is in itself, and its phenomena. It is rather between fundamental or primary reality, consisting of quantum individual pure possibilities, on the one hand, and its actualization in what classical physics has discovered so far, on the other. As individual pure possibilities, quantum entities must be, at least ontologically, distinct and different from one another, regardless of the epistemological standing of quantum physics. Hence, quantum metaphysics is committed to the principle of the identity of indiscernibles. I also analyze the two-slit experiment, interference, and entanglement in the light of my approach. Some of Yakir Aharonov’s ideas, concerning quantum mechanics, are purely philosophical. His novel ideas of retro-causation, in which the future determines the present, those of free choice and free will, and those of the final state of the universe are gaining support and clarification by independent and antecedent ideas that philosophers had suggested. Aharonov’s independent conception of a temporal direction from the future can be paralleled to quite a similar idea in Kant’s moral philosophy in the light of a variation on the theme of this idea (which is my original contribution in interpreting and elaborating on Kant, introduced in 1985 to treat this major idea in Kant’s philosophy). I called this variation “teleological time.” As for the existence of free will, in the light of a panenmentalist, realist approach about individual pure possibilities, rejecting actualist prejudices against their existence, alternative possibilities are always open for our free choice, even in a deterministic reality. Analogous to the fact that there is no illusion of pain, there is no illusion of free will, and the existence of free will must be compatible with the new physics that Aharonov surmises. These are striking examples of interesting meeting points of philosophy and physics.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSynthese Library
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media B.V.
Number of pages32
StatePublished - 2020

Publication series

NameSynthese Library
ISSN (Print)0166-6991
ISSN (Electronic)2542-8292

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, Springer Nature Switzerland AG.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History and Philosophy of Science
  • History
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Logic


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