Quantum Mechanics, Orthogonality, and Counting

Peter J. Lewis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


In quantum mechanics it is usually assumed that mutually exclusive states of affairs must be represented by orthogonal vectors. Recent attempts to solve the measurement problem, most notably the GRW theory, require the relaxation of this assumption. It is shown that a consequence of relaxing this assumption is that arithmetic does not apply to ordinary macroscopic objects. It is argued that such a radical move is unwarranted given the current state of understanding of the foundations of quantum mechanics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)313-328
Number of pages16
JournalBritish Journal for the Philosophy of Science
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1997
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • Philosophy
  • History and Philosophy of Science


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