2021 Australasian Association of Philosophy Conference: How (Quantum) Things Persist by Danny Wardle

Activity: PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENTConference AttendanceProfessional Development


I argue that perdurantist theories of persistence are perfectly compatible with non-relativistic quantum mechanics. In particular, I focus on Thomas Pashby's (2013, 2016) arguments to the effect that quantum mechanics rules out the existence of temporal parts. In response, I contend that Pauli's Theorem does not present a 'no-go' result for temporal parts. I also suggest that there are some problems with Pashby's attempt to develop a notion of quantum spatial parthood and by extension, quantum temporal parthood, by relativising parthood to location via a localisation scheme which implies quantum holism. I point out how Pashby's assumption that we ought to treat time as an observable motivates his move to an event-ontology. In addition, I argue that Pashby's event-ontology, which he calls reiterationism, is either a very confusing view or simply one which collapses into perdurantism. Finally, I outline how we might make sense of perduring quantum systems.
Period15 Jul 2021