Why does Humean supervenience fail in quantum mechanics?


I am not sure I understand the idea properly.

Moreover, why are philosophers so interested in quantum mechanics? What philosophical implications could quantum mechanics have?


Posted 2018-09-26T16:33:23.317

Reputation: 111

I made some edits which you may roll back or continue editing. You can see the versions by clicking on the "edited" link above. The question is a bit broad. If you have any more information about why this interests you such as a quote from an author this would help someone provide an answer that is relevant to your interests. Welcome to this SE! – Frank Hubeny – 2018-09-26T17:05:09.457

For the second question please read SEP's Philosophical Issues in Quantum Theory.

– Conifold – 2018-09-26T17:43:34.017

You might be interested in https://www.reddit.com/r/askphilosophy/comments/2fhpcg/eli5_laws_of_nature_humean_vs_nonhumean/

– Sebastian – 2018-09-26T19:10:41.577

To motivate the second question, why wouldn't they be? Why would philosophers not be interested in the fundamental physical theory that our best physics says the world obeys? And additionally, when that theory seems so counterintuitive and surprising when compared to our common sense view of the world, don't you think that's a justification for philosophers to be interested in it as well? Would you ask the same question as to why philosophers are interested in other fundamental scientific principles, like genetics and evolution for example? – Not_Here – 2018-09-26T20:05:32.480

We're living in a simulation. The quantum nature of reality is pretty much proof of that. Philosophers really ought to put some effort into what that might mean for us.. and how we might communicate with.. or otherwise influence the simulation. – Richard – 2018-09-27T00:01:57.923



Because Humean Supervenience is based in contingency. This implies that no two objects or states can differ without an in-equivalence of at least one quality or property. Quantum Mechanics negates this presumption, as most famously demonstrated in Schrödinger's cat, where two opposite states are simultaneously true until observed.


Posted 2018-09-26T16:33:23.317

Reputation: 187

Ok, now It is clearer. I will read the article on SEP. – Mortimer – 2018-09-26T17:46:19.173


Imagine two identical worlds A and B, that both only consist in conducting the same indeterministic/random/quantum experiments 10 times. They only differ with respect to the probability measure that is associated with the experiment. However even though the probability measures are different, we could still obtain the same results in world A and world B, which would make the worlds identical in the humean sense . It is therefore possible that two worlds are identical according to the humean mosaic, however they differ in the underlying probability distributions. This cannot be according to Humean supervenience.


Posted 2018-09-26T16:33:23.317

Reputation: 350