California Quantum Interpretation Network

Alyssa Ney
UC Davis

Charles Sebens
UC San Diego

Since the inception of quantum mechanics, a certain attitude about quantum theories has been prevalent: that in contrast to classical physical theories like Newtonian mechanics or electromagnetic theory, quantum theories cannot be understood as providing one with a clear and visualizable picture of the kinds of things that exist according to the theory, a clear ontology. However, recent work in philosophy has been working against this attitude, to try to develop clear and comprehensible accounts of the nature of a quantum world that are faithful to what make quantum theories successful as physical theories. In the past several years, there have been a cluster of hires in California philosophy departments of philosophers of physics working on this topic of quantum interpretation. These philosophers join other philosophers of physics and physicists working in California with similar interests in developing, defending, and promoting clear accounts of the implications of quantum theories for how we understand our world. This working group established a framework in which this group could establish regular meetings to advance their research and promote the philosophical elucidation of what quantum mechanics teaches us.