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Bohm's approach and individuality
University of Skövde, School of Bioscience. University of Skövde, The Systems Biology Research Centre. University of Helsinki. (Cognitive neuroscience and philosophy)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7838-8293
University of London.
University of Helsinki.
2015 (English)In: Individuals Across the Sciences / [ed] Guay, A. and Pradeu, T., Oxford University Press, 2015, p. 226-249Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

 Ladyman and Ross (LR) argue that quantum objects are not individuals (or are at most weakly discernible individuals) and use this idea to ground their metaphysical view, ontic structural realism, according to which relational structures are primary to things. LR acknowledge that there is a version of quantum theory, namely the Bohm theory (BT), according to which particles do have denite trajectories at all times. However, LR interpret the research by Brown et al.  as implying that "raw stuff" or haecceities  are needed for the individuality of particles of BT, and LR dismiss this as idle metaphysics. In this paper we note that Brown et al.'s research does not imply that haecceities are needed. Thus BT remains as a genuine option for those who seek to understand quantum particles as individuals. However, we go on to discuss some problems with BT which led Bohm and Hiley to modify it. This modified version underlines that, due to features such as context-dependence and non-locality, Bohmian particles have a very limited autonomy in situations where quantum effects are non-negligible. So while BT restores the possibility of quantum individuals, it also underlines the primacy of the whole over the autonomy of the parts. The later sections of the paper also examine the Bohm theory in the general mathematical context of symplectic geometry. This provides yet another way of understanding the subtle, holistic and dynamic nature of Bohmian individuals. We finally briefly consider Bohm's other main line of research, the "implicate order", which is in some ways similar to LR's structural realism.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Oxford University Press, 2015. p. 226-249
National Category
Philosophy
Research subject
Humanities and Social sciences; Consciousness and Cognitive Neuroscience
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:his:diva-10770DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199382514.003.0013ISBN: 978-0-19-938251-4 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:his-10770DiVA, id: diva2:797487
Available from: 2015-03-24 Created: 2015-03-24 Last updated: 2019-10-07Bibliographically approved

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Pylkkänen, Paavo

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