Friday, July 20, 2018
Well stated, so I am just reposting this...
(from Edward Fesser's blog)
In his essay “Quantum Mechanics and Ontology” in his anthology Philosophy in an Age of Science, Hilary Putnam notes that “mathematically presented quantum-mechanical theories do not wear their ontologies on their sleeve… the mathematics does not transparently tell us what the theory is about. Not always, anyhow” (p. 161). Yet as Putnam also observes:
[But] to say “We physicists are just technicians making predictions; don’t bother us with that ‘physically real’ stuff” is effectively to return to the instrumentalism of the 1920s. But physical theories are not just pieces of prediction technology. Even those who claim that that is all they are do so only to avoid having to think seriously about the content of their theories; in other contexts they are, I have observed, quite happy to talk about the same theories as descriptions of reality – as, indeed, they aspire to be. (pp. 153-4)
Posted by Shiningpeak at 5:21 PM