•  238
    A general conceptual framework for decoherence in closed and open systems
    with Mario Castagnino and Roberto Laura
    Philosophy of Science 74 (5): 968-980. 2007.
    In this paper we argue that the formalisms for decoherence originally devised to deal just with closed or open systems can be subsumed under a general conceptual framework, in such a way that they cooperate in the understanding of the same physical phenomenon. This new perspective dissolves certain conceptual difficulties of the einselection program but, at the same time, shows that the openness of the quantum system is not the essential ingredient for decoherence. †To contact the authors, pleas…Read more
  •  182
    The ontological autonomy of the chemical world
    with Martín Labarca
    Foundations of Chemistry 7 (2): 125-148. 2004.
    In the problem of the relationship between chemistry and physics, many authors take for granted the ontological reduction of the chemical world to the world of physics. The autonomy of chemistry is usually defended on the basis of the failure of epistemological reduction: not all chemical concepts and laws can be derived from the theoretical framework of physics. The main aim of this paper is to argue that this line of argumentation is not strong enough for eliminate the idea of a hierarchical d…Read more
  •  171
    A modal-Hamiltonian interpretation of quantum mechanics
    with Mario Castagnino
    Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 39 (2): 380-443. 2008.
    The aim of this paper is to introduce a new member of the family of the modal interpretations of quantum mechanics. In this modal-Hamiltonian interpretation, the Hamiltonian of the quantum system plays a decisive role in the property-ascription rule that selects the definite-valued observables whose possible values become actual. We show that this interpretation is effective for solving the measurement problem, both in its ideal and its non-ideal versions, and we argue for the physical relevance…Read more
  •  165
    Prigogine and the many voices of nature
    Foundations of Chemistry 14 (3): 205-219. 2012.
    Ilya Prigogine was not a systematic author: his ideas, covering a wide arch of areas, are dispersed in his many writings. In particular, his philosophical thought has to be reconstructed mainly on the basis of his works in collaboration with Isabelle Stengers: La Nouvelle Alliance ( 1979 ), Order out of Chaos ( 1984 ), and Entre le Temps et l’Éternité ( 1988 ). In this paper I undertake that reconstruction in order to argue that Prigogine’s position, when read in the light of Putnam’s internalis…Read more
  •  147
    The Global Arrow of Time as a Geometrical Property of the Universe
    with Mario Castagnino and Luis Lara
    Foundations of Physics 33 (6): 877-912. 2003.
    Traditional discussions about the arrow of time in general involve the concept of entropy. In the cosmological context, the direction past-to-future is usually related to the direction of the gradient of the entropy function of the universe. But the definition of the entropy of the universe is a very controversial matter. Moreover, thermodynamics is a phenomenological theory. Geometrical properties of space-time provide a more fundamental and less controversial way of defining an arrow of time f…Read more
  •  138
    Given the impressive success of environment-induced decoherence, nowadays no interpretation of quantum mechanics can ignore its results. The modal-Hamiltonian interpretation has proved to be effective for solving several interpretative problems but, since its actualization rule applies to closed systems, it seems to stand at odds of EID. The purpose of this paper is to show that this is not the case: the states einselected by the interaction with the environment according to EID are the eigenvec…Read more
  •  135
    The Arrow of Time: From Universe Time-Asymmetry to Local Irreversible Processes (review)
    with Matías Aiello and Mario Castagnino
    Foundations of Physics 38 (3): 257-292. 2008.
    In several previous papers we have argued for a global and non-entropic approach to the problem of the arrow of time, according to which the “arrow” is only a metaphorical way of expressing the geometrical time-asymmetry of the universe. We have also shown that, under definite conditions, this global time-asymmetry can be transferred to local contexts as an energy flow that points to the same temporal direction all over the spacetime. The aim of this paper is to complete the global and non-entro…Read more
  •  124
    What is information?
    Foundations of Science 9 (2): 105-134. 2004.
    The main aim of this work is to contribute tothe elucidation of the concept of informationby comparing three different views about thismatter: the view of Fred Dretske's semantictheory of information, the perspective adoptedby Peter Kosso in his interaction-informationaccount of scientific observation, and thesyntactic approach of Thomas Cover and JoyThomas. We will see that these views involvevery different concepts of information, eachone useful in its own field of application. This comparison…Read more
  •  122
    Stuff versus individuals
    with Lucía Lewowicz
    Foundations of Chemistry 15 (1): 65-77. 2013.
    The general question to be considered in this paper points to the nature of the world described by chemistry: what is macro-chemical ontology like? In particular, we want to identify the ontological categories that underlie chemical discourse and chemical practice. This is not an easy task, because modern Western metaphysics was strongly modeled by theoretical physics. For this reason, we attempt to answer our question by contrasting macro-chemical ontology with the mainstream ontology of physic…Read more
  •  110
    Self‐Induced Decoherence and the Classical Limit of Quantum Mechanics
    with Mario Castagnino
    Philosophy of Science 72 (5): 764-776. 2005.
    In this paper we argue that the emergence of the classical world from the underlying quantum reality involves two elements: self-induced decoherence and macroscopicity. Self-induced decoherence does not require the openness of the system and its interaction with the environment: a single closed system can decohere when its Hamiltonian has continuous spectrum. We show that, if the system is macroscopic enough, after self-induced decoherence it can be described as an ensemble of classical distribu…Read more
  •  94
    Why orbitals do not exist?
    with Martín Labarca
    Foundations of Chemistry 12 (2): 149-157. 2010.
    In this paper we will address the problem of the existence of orbitals by analyzing the relationship between molecular chemistry and quantum mechanics. In particular, we will consider the concept of orbital in the light of the arguments that deny its referring character. On this basis, we will conclude that the claim that orbitals do not exist relies on a metaphysical reductionism which, if consistently sustained, would lead to consequences clashing with the effective practice of science in its …Read more
  •  84
    Since the nineteenth century, the problem of the arrow of time has been traditionally analyzed in terms of entropy by relating the direction past-to-future to the gradient of the entropy function of the universe. In this paper, we reject this traditional perspective and argue for a global and non-entropic approach to the problem, according to which the arrow of time can be defined in terms of the geometrical properties of spacetime. In particular, we show how the global non-entropic arrow can be…Read more
  •  83
    The ontological autonomy of the chemical world: A response to Needham (review)
    with Martín Labarca
    Foundations of Chemistry 8 (1): 81-92. 2006.
  •  81
    Isomerism and decoherence
    with Sebastian Fortin and Juan Camilo Martínez González
    Foundations of Chemistry 18 (3): 225-240. 2016.
    In the present paper we address the problem of optical isomerism embodied in the socalled “Hund’s paradox”, which points to the difficulty to account for chirality by means of quantum mechanics. In particular, we explain the answer to the problem proposed by the theory of decoherence. The purpose of this article is to challenge this answer on the basis of a conceptual analysis of the phenomenon of decoherence, that reveals the limitations of the theory of decoherence to solve the difficulties po…Read more
  •  81
    The problem of identifying the system and the environment in the phenomenon of decoherence
    with Sebastian Fortin and Mario Castagnino
    In Henk W. de Regt (ed.), Epsa Philosophy of Science: Amsterdam 2009, Springer. pp. 161--174. 2010.
    According to the environment-induced approach to decoherence, the split of the Universe into the degrees of freedom which are of direct interest to the observer and the remaining degrees of freedom is absolutely essential for decoherence. However, the EID approach offers no general criterion for deciding where to place the “cut” between system and environment: the environment may be “external” or “internal”. The main purpose of this paper is to argue that decoherence is a relative phenomenon, be…Read more
  •  80
    Modal Interpretations of Quantum Mechanics
    with Dennis Dieks
    Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. forthcoming.
  •  78
    The modal-Hamiltonian interpretation and the Galilean covariance of quantum mechanics
    with Mario Castagnino and Juan Sebastián Ardenghi
    Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 41 (2): 93-103. 2010.
  •  75
    The arrow of time in cosmology
    with Mario Castagnino and Luis Lara
    Scientific cosmology is an empirical discipline whose objects of study are the large-scale properties of the universe. In this context, it is usual to call the direction of the expansion of the universe the "cosmological arrow of time". However, there is no reason for privileging the ‘radius’ of the universe for defining the arrow of time over other geometrical properties of the space-time. Traditional discussions about the arrow of time in general involve the concept of entropy. In the cosmolog…Read more
  •  73
    Klaus Ruthenberg and Jaap Van Brakel (eds): Stuff. The nature of chemical substances (review)
    with Martín Labarca
    Foundations of Chemistry 11 (3): 183-186. 2009.
    Klaus Ruthenberg and Jaap van Brakel (eds): Stuff. The nature of chemical substances Content Type Journal Article Category Book Review Pages 183-186 DOI 10.1007/s10698-009-9077-6 Authors Martín Labarca, CONICET, Universidad Nacional de Quilmes Buenos Aires Argentina Olimpia Lombardi, CONICET, Universidad de Buenos Aires Buenos Aires Argentina Journal Foundations of Chemistry Online ISSN 1572-8463 Print ISSN 1386-4238 Journal Volume Volume 11 Journal Issue Volume 11, Number 3
  •  71
    Quantum Mechanics: Modal Interpretation and Galilean Transformations (review)
    with Juan Sebastian Ardenghi and Mario Castagnino
    Foundations of Physics 39 (9): 1023-1045. 2009.
    The aim of this paper is to consider in what sense the modal-Hamiltonian interpretation of quantum mechanics satisfies the physical constraints imposed by the Galilean group. In particular, we show that the only apparent conflict, which follows from boost-transformations, can be overcome when the definition of quantum systems and subsystems is taken into account. On this basis, we apply the interpretation to different well-known models, in order to obtain concrete examples of the previous concep…Read more
  •  65
    Linking chemistry with physics: arguments and counterarguments (review)
    Foundations of Chemistry 16 (3): 181-192. 2014.
    The many-faced relationship between chemistry and physics is one of the most discussed topics in the philosophy of chemistry. In his recent book Reducing Chemistry to Physics. Limits, Models, Consequences, Hinne Hettema conceives this relationship as a reduction link, and devotes his work to defend this position on the basis of a “naturalized” concept of reduction. In the present paper I critically review three kinds of issues stemming from Hettema’s argumentation: philosophical, scientific and …Read more
  •  61
    Time's Arrow and Irreversibility in Time‐Asymmetric Quantum Mechanics
    with Mario Castagnino and Manuel Gadella
    International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 19 (3). 2005.
    The aim of this paper is to analyze time-asymmetric quantum mechanics with respect to the problems of irreversibility and of time's arrow. We begin with arguing that both problems are conceptually different. Then, we show that, contrary to a common opinion, the theory's ability to describe irreversible quantum processes is not a consequence of the semigroup evolution laws expressing the non-time-reversal invariance of the theory. Finally, we argue that time-asymmetric quantum mechanics, either i…Read more
  •  58
    El propósito del presente artículo es evaluar en qué sentido y bajo qué condiciones la ergodicidad es relevante para explicar el éxito de la mecánica estadística. Se objeta la positión de quienes sostienen que la ergodicidad es irrelevante para tal explicatión, y se señala que las propiedades ergódicas desempeñan diferentes papeles en la mecánica estadística del equilibrio y en la descriptión de la evolución hacia el equilibrio: es posible prescindir de la ergodicidad en el primer caso pero no e…Read more
  •  53
    Deflating the deflationary view of information
    with Sebastian Fortin and Cristian López
    European Journal for Philosophy of Science 6 (2): 209-230. 2016.
    Christopher Timpson proposes a deflationary view about information, according to which the term ‘information’ is an abstract noun and, as a consequence, information is not part of the material contents of the world. The main purpose of the present article consists in supplying a critical analysis of this proposal, which will lead us to conclude that information is an item even more abstract than what Timpson claims. From this view, we embrace a pluralist stance that recognizes the legitimacy of …Read more
  •  52
    ¿Es La Mecanica Clasica Una Teoria Determinista?
    Theoria: Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia 17 (1): 5-34. 2002.
    This paper presents a critical evaluation of different opinions about determinism in Classical Mechanics. The goal of this analysis is to show that, even in the supposedly non controversial field of Classical Mechanics, the answer about determinism is not univocally fixed by scientific arguments, but inescapably depends on the epistemological perspective fom which the problem is formulated.
  •  51
    The aim of this paper is to analyze the concepts of time-reversal invariance and irreversibility in the so-called 'time-asymmetric quantum mechanics'. We begin with pointing out the difference between these two concepts. On this basis, we show that irreversibility is not as tightly linked to the semigroup evolution laws of the theory -which lead to its non time-reversal invariance- as usually suggested. In turn, we argue that the irreversible evolutions described by the theory are coarse-grained…Read more
  •  51
    Mecánica cuántica
    with Mario Castagnino and Juan Sebastián Ardenghi
    Theoria: Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia 24 (1): 5-28. 2009.
    RESUMEN: El propósito del presente trabajo consiste en analizar los vínculos entre la interpretación modal-hamiltoniana de la mecánica cuántica y las transformaciones de Galileo, a fin de poner de manifiesto que el grupo de tales transformaciones permite reformular la regla de actualización de un modo más básico desde un punto de vista teórico, aplicable a otras teorías cuánticas. Además se argumentará que, bajo esta nueva forma, la regla de actualización manifiesta explícitamente su invariancia…Read more
  •  49
    El punto de vista atemporal en cosmología
    with Nicolás Moyano Loza
    Theoria: Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia 28 (3): 499-516. 2013.
    En su libro "Time's Arrow and Archimedes' Point", Huw Price critica los argumentos de algunos cosmólogos contemporáneos acerca del origen cosmológico de la flecha del tiempo, quienes supuestamente no logran adoptar un punto de vista atemporal. En este artículo se analizan las criticas de Price a la propuesta de Stephen Hawking, argumentando que sus conclusiones se basan en supuestos cuestionables desde un punto de vista científico. Esta tarea abre el camino hacía un enfoque global no-entrópico d…Read more
  •  48
    Non-integrability and mixing in quantum systems: On the way to quantum chaos
    with Mario Castagnino
    Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 38 (3): 482-513. 2007.
  •  48
    A new chapter in the problem of the reduction of chemistry to physics: the Quantum Theory of Atoms in Molecules
    with Jesus Alberto Jaimes Arriaga and Sebastian Fortin
    Foundations of Chemistry 21 (1): 125-136. 2019.
    The problem of the reduction of chemistry to physics has been traditionally addressed in terms of classical structural chemistry and standard quantum mechanics. In this work, we will study the problem from the perspective of the Quantum Theory of Atoms in Molecules, proposed by Richard Bader in the nineties. The purpose of this article is to unveil the role of QTAIM in the inter-theoretical relations between chemistry and physics. We argue that, although the QTAIM solves two relevant obstacles t…Read more