5 of 11 people found the following review helpful
, 27 July 2009
This review is from: Quantum Theory and the Flight From Realism: Philosophical Responses to Quantum Mechanics (Critical Realism: Interventions) (Paperback)
This must be one of the most misleading books on the realism/antirealism
debate in quantum mechanics ever published. The author repeats some of the usual criticisms against the so called copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics and favours David Bohm's allegedly realist interpretation as a counterbalance. He reminds me of Chicken Licken who claims that abandoning a so called realist interpretation of science menas that the sky is going to fall in. Admittedly he is not the only author to make this claim. What Norris refuses to address in his endorsement of Bohm's quantum mechanics is the fact that it implies the existence of a 3N dimensional configuration space, if we take the wavefunction of quantum mechanics literally of which our 3 dimensional world is only one projection. This means that the so called realism of Bohm is committed to something even more bizarre than seeing the wave function as a heuristic device for calculating probabilities associated with quantum events.
Finally his treatment of the Bell inequalities is misleading, the Aspect experiment does not imply that particles send signals to each other faster than the speed of light. It is only if one accepts a realist interpretation that one is forced into such lines of thought. He can't have it both ways if he wants to have a realist interpretation of quantum mechanics he is forced to abandon a realist interpretation of relativity which would undermine the very thesis he wants to defend namely that physics supports a realist interpretation.
It is clear that this book is only written to defend an ideology rather than any serious attempt to engage in the real problems about the relationship between our ideas of the world and the world as it really is that quantum mechanics raises.
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