Prolegomena to a Structuralist Reconstruction of Quantum Mechanics

Joseph D. Sneed


A structuralist “reconstruction sketch” of an idealized theory is provided. This theory, QM, has some essential features of quantum mechanics. QM is a theory about abstract “result-observation events”, formal characterizations of interactions among physical systems and their results. QM is a stochastic theory and in the stochastic apparatus some features of “real life” quantum mechanics are recognizable. The result-observation events themselves exhibit neither essentially quantum mechanical features nor essentially physical features. At the level of the basic theory element QM is more like a specialization of probability theory than a physical theory. It is only at the level of specialization of the basic theory element that essentially physical and quantum mechanical features may be introduced. The account provides a “reconstruction sketch” rather than a reconstruction largely in that no account is given of physically interesting specializations. It also falls short of a full reconstruction in that the mathematical apparatus is restricted to finite structures.

Palabras clave

structuralism; quantum; mechanics; probability

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