Mauro Dorato: "The Metaphysics of Rovelli's Relational Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics"

Mauro Dorato: "The Metaphysics of Rovelli's Relational Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics". Listen to the talk here.


Rather than assigning an ontological meaning to the wave function, Carlo Rovelliís (programmatically antimetaphysical) relational interpretation of QM focuses on the sequence of actual measurement outcomes q1, q2, qn.. Such outcomes constitute the events of spacetime, and are to be regarded as the result of correlations of quantum systems with particular ďobserving physical systemsĒ S; no meaning is attached to the intrinsic properties of an isolated quantum system Q. A quantum system Q can be said to possess a certain property q only relative to a system S; relative to another observing system Sí, Q and S may be in an indefinite state, i.e., in a superposition. Relational quantum mechanics is therefore a way of reconciling the universality of application of the principle of quantum superposition with the fact that the observed world is characterized by uniquely determined events.

In my talk I will analyze Rovelliís relationism in view of the following three problems: 1) is it reasonable to interpret the quantum state (as Rovelli has it) as a disposition to display certain values in correlations with macroscopic physical systems? 2) more in general − and to the extent that Rovelliís interpretation is a subspecies of an Everettian approach to quantum mechanics − does the latter need genuine dispositions in order to account either for branching or for time-asymmetric decoherence? 3) in Rovelliís interpretation, is the quantum universe the only non-relational entity?