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PERIMETER INSTITUTE RECORDED SEMINAR ARCHIVE

PIRSA:09090077  ( MP4 Medium Res , MP3 , PDF ) Which Format?
Confusing Ontic and Epistemic Causes Trouble in Classical Physics Too
Speaker(s): N. David Mermin
Abstract: The subject of this conference is the Quantum State --- what the hell it is. A central issue is whether quantum states describe reality (the ontic view) or an agent's knowledge of reality (the epistemic view). Advocates of the epistemic view maintain that many quantum puzzles and conundra are artifacts of an inappropriate reification of strictly epistemic concepts. To provide a broader context for such considerations, I argue that even in classical physics we have got into major trouble by inappropriately conferring physical reality on the abstractions we have used to organize what we know.
Date: 27/09/2009 - 9:30 am
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