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Six Quantum Worlds

Six Quantum Worlds

(p.179) Chapter 9 Six Quantum Worlds
Quantum Ontology
Peter J. Lewis
Oxford University Press

The foundations of quantum mechanics are so contested that it yields few definitive answers to metaphysical questions. So the best we can do is to lay out the various possibilities. The six possibilities considered are as follows: Bohm’s hidden variable theory, particle-only hidden variable theories, the GRW spontaneous collapse theory, spontaneous collapse theories with added three-dimensional ontology, the “flashy” spontaneous collapse theory, and the many-worlds theory. The metaphysical consequences of each of these theories are summarized. Even if quantum mechanics does not settle many ontological questions, it shifts the debate in interesting and fruitful ways. Furthermore, the metaphysical consequences may in some cases reflect back on the tenability of the theories themselves.

Keywords:   quantum mechanics, metaphysics, ontology, hidden variables, spontaneous collapse, many worlds

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