•  13
    The paper uses the concept of typicality to spell out an argument against Humean supervenience and the best system account of laws. It proves that, in a very general and robust sense, almost all possible Humean worlds have no Humean laws. They are worlds of irreducible complexity that do not allow for any systematization. After explaining typicality reasoning in general, the implications of this result for the metaphysics of laws are discussed in detail.
  •  5
    The article addresses the debate about the empirical status of particles versus wave functions in Bohmian quantum mechanics. It thereby clarifies questions and misconceptions about the role of the...
  •  17
    This note clarifies several details about the description of the measurement process in Bohmian mechanics and responds to a recent preprint by Shan Gao, wrongly claiming a contradiction in the theory.
  •  18
    The paper discusses recent proposals by Carroll and Chen, as well as Barbour, Koslowski, and Mercati to explain the arrow of time without a Past Hypothesis, i.e. the assumption of a special initial state of the universe. After discussing the role of the Past Hypothesis and the controversy about its status, we explain why Carroll's model - which establishes an arrow of time as typical - can ground sensible predictions and retrodictions without assuming something akin to a Past Hypothesis. We then…Read more
  •  11
    Das vorliegende Buch richtet sich an Studierende der Physik, für die nach der Quantenmechanik-Vorlesung die wesentliche Frage offen geblieben ist: „Was sagt denn nun der mathematische Formalismus, den ich jetzt ausgiebig und ach so mühsam studiert habe, über die Natur aus?“. Bei der Suche nach der Antwort besprechen die Autoren unter anderem die modernen Quantentheorien, die von John Stuart Bell „Theorien ohne Beobachter“ genannt wurden: die Bohmsche Mechanik, die Kollaps-Theorie und die Viele-W…Read more
  •  11
    On Boltzmann versus Gibbs and the Equilibrium in Statistical Mechanics
    Philosophy of Science 86 (4): 785-793. 2019.
    Charlotte Werndl and Roman Frigg discuss the relationship between the Boltzmannian and Gibbsian framework of statistical mechanics, addressing, in particular, the question when equilibrium values calculated in both frameworks agree. This note points out conceptual confusions that could arise from their discussion, concerning, in particular, the authors’ use of “Boltzmann equilibrium.” It also clarifies the status of the Khinchin condition for the equivalence of Boltzmannian and Gibbsian equilibr…Read more
  •  14
    In my commentary, I will argue that the conclusions drawn in the paper Noncommutative causality in algebraic quantum field theory by Gábor Hofer-Szaboó are incorrect. As proven by J.S. Bell, a local common causal explanation of correlations violating the Bell inequality is impossible.
  •  17
    Super-Humeanism: A starving ontology
    Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 64 79-86. 2018.
    The paper provides a critical discussion of the Super-Humean view of spacetime and the “minimalist ontology” in terms of Leibnizian relations and primitive matter points, recently developed by Esfeld et al. It investigates, in particular, the empirical adequacy of the proposed metaphysics, arguing that Super-Humeanism cannot provide a plausible account of space and time without committing to bona fide geometric structure in the fundamental relations. Against this backdrop, I propose a moderate v…Read more
  •  50
    By means of the examples of classical and Bohmian quantum mechanics, we illustrate the well-known ideas of Boltzmann as to how one gets from laws defined for the universe as a whole to dynamical relations describing the evolution of subsystems. We explain how probabilities enter into this process, what quantum and classical probabilities have in common and where exactly their difference lies.
  •  56
    We discuss Boltzmann’s probabilistic explanation of the second law of thermodynamics providing a comprehensive presentation of what is called today the typicality account. Countering its misconception as an alternative explanation, we examine the relation between Boltzmann’s H-theorem and the general typicality argument demonstrating the conceptual continuity between the two. We then discuss the philosophical dimensions of the concept of typicality and its relevance for scientific reasoning in g…Read more
  •  253
    The Ontology of Bohmian Mechanics
    with M. Esfeld, Mario Hubert, and D. Durr
    British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 65 (4): 773-796. 2014.
    The paper points out that the modern formulation of Bohm’s quantum theory known as Bohmian mechanics is committed only to particles’ positions and a law of motion. We explain how this view can avoid the open questions that the traditional view faces according to which Bohm’s theory is committed to a wave-function that is a physical entity over and above the particles, although it is defined on configuration space instead of three-dimensional space. We then enquire into the status of the law of m…Read more
  •  28
    The Meaning of the Wave Function: In Search of the Ontology of Quantum Mechanics
    International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 31 (3): 321-324. 2017.
  •  103
    We discuss the no-go theorem of Frauchiger and Renner based on an "extended Wigner's friend" thought experiment which is supposed to show that any single-world interpretation of quantum mechanics leads to inconsistent predictions if it is applicable on all scales. We show that no such inconsistency occurs if one considers a complete description of the physical situation. We then discuss implications of the thought experiment that have not been clearly addressed in the original paper, including a…Read more
  •  123
    The Physics and Metaphysics of Primitive Stuff
    with Michael Esfeld, Vincent Lam, and Mario Hubert
    British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 68 (1): 133-61. 2017.
    The article sets out a primitive ontology of the natural world in terms of primitive stuff—that is, stuff that has as such no physical properties at all—but that is not a bare substratum either, being individuated by metrical relations. We focus on quantum physics and employ identity-based Bohmian mechanics to illustrate this view, but point out that it applies all over physics. Properties then enter into the picture exclusively through the role that they play for the dynamics of the primitive s…Read more
  •  43
    Against fields
    European Journal for Philosophy of Science 8 (2): 145-170. 2017.
    Using the example of classical electrodynamics, I argue that the concept of fields as mediators of particle interactions is fundamentally flawed and reflects a misguided attempt to retrieve Newtonian concepts in relativistic theories. This leads to various physical and metaphysical problems that are discussed in detail. In particular, I emphasize that physics has not found a satisfying solution to the self-interaction problem in the context of the classical field theory. To demonstrate the super…Read more