How Humean is Bohumianism?
- Tomasz Bigaj,
- Antonio Vassallo
An important part of the influential Humean doctrine in philosophy is the supervenience principle (sometimes referred to as the principle of separability). This principle asserts that the complete state of the world supervenes on the intrinsic properties of its most fundamental components and their spatiotemporal relations (the so-called Humean mosaic). There are well-known arguments in the literature purporting to show that in quantum mechanics the Humean supervenience principle is violated, due to the existence of entangled states. Recently, however, arguments have been presented to the effect that the supervenience principle can be defended in Bohmian mechanics. The key element of this strategy lies in the observation that according to Bohmian mechanics the fundamental facts about particles are facts about their spatial locations, and moreover, for any proper subsystem of the world its state may non-trivially depend on the spatial configuration of the rest of the universe. Thus quantum-mechanical states of subsystems do not represent their intrinsic properties but rather characterize their relations with the environment. In this paper we point out the worry that this Bohmian strategy—known as Bohumianism—saves the letter but not the spirit of the Humean doctrine of supervenience, since it prima facie violates another seemingly important Humean principle, which we call Strong Supervenience and whose denial implies the existence of necessary connections among distinct individuals. We argue that the best defense for Bohumians is to question the fundamental existence of complex physical systems and their states by treating any reference to them as a convenient description of the underlying collection of Bohmian particles. We consider several pros and cons of this strategy.
- Record ID
- Journal series
- Foundations of Physics, ISSN 0015-9018, e-ISSN 1572-9516
- Issue year
- Publication size in sheets
- Keywords in English
- Humean supervenience; Quantum entanglement; Bohmian mechanics; Bohumianism
- ASJC Classification
- DOI:10.1007/s10701-020-00361-5 Opening in a new tab
- https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10701-020-00361-5 Opening in a new tab
- (en) English
- File: 1
- Score (nominal)
- Score source
- = 40.0, 26-04-2021, ArticleFromJournal
- Publication indicators
- = 0; : 2018 = 0.68; : 2019 (2 years)= 1.437 - 2019 (5 years)=1.086
- Uniform Resource Identifier
* presented citation count is obtained through Internet information analysis and it is close to the number calculated by the Publish or PerishOpening in a new tab system.