Retrocausal quantum mechanics: Maudlin's challenge revisited

Peter J. Lewis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

In 1994, Maudlin proposed an objection to retrocausal approaches to quantum mechanics in general, and to the transactional interpretation (TI) in particular, involving an absorber that changes location depending on the trajectory of the particle. Maudlin considered this objection fatal. However, the TI did not die; rather, a number of responses were developed, some attempting to accommodate Maudlin's example within the existing TI, and others modifying the TI. I argue that none of these responses is fully adequate. The reason, I submit, is that there are two aspects to Maudlin's objection; the more readily soluble aspect has received all the attention, but the more problematic aspect has gone unnoticed. I consider the prospects for developing a successful retrocausal quantum theory in light of this second aspect of the objection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)442-449
Number of pages8
JournalStudies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B - Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics
Volume44
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2013

Keywords

  • Advanced action
  • Quantum mechanics
  • Retrocausal quantum mechanics
  • Time-symmetric quantum mechanics
  • Transactional interpretation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • History and Philosophy of Science

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