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A Tale of Two Anachronisms

Emily Adlam Related
Physics 28/10/2017

Scientific reasoning is constrained not only by the outcomes of experiments, but also by the history of human thought and our own place in it. As a result, even our best theoretical models often incorporate features which are present more as the result of historical accident than as the endpoint of a process of evidence-based deliberation, and it is sometimes possible to make considerable progress by identifying and eliminating such features. In this talk, I will identify two features of current thought about quantum physics which may be anachronisms of this kind, then briefly discuss their history and raise some arguments against them. Both of these features have previously been recognised as problematic by parts of the physics community, but I argue that this recognition is not sufficiently widespread and that both features are actively limiting progress in the field of quantum foundations.