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Non-locality and Possible World

A Counterfactual Perspective on Quantum Entanglement

This book uses the formal semantics of counterfactual conditionals to analyze the problem of non-locality in quantum mechanics. Counterfactual conditionals (subjunctive conditionals) enter the analysis of quantum entangled systems in that they enable us to precisely formulate the locality condition that purports to exclude the existence of causal interactions between spatially separated parts of a system. They also make it possible to speak consistently about alternative measuring settings, and to explicate what is meant by quantum property attributions. The book develops the possible-world semantics of quantum counterfactuals using David Lewis’s famous approach as a starting point but modifying it significantly in order to achieve compatibility with the demands of the special theory of relativity as well as quantum mechanics. There have been several attempts to use counterfactual semantics to strengthen Bell’s theorem and its cognates such as the GHZ and Hardy theorems. These are critically evaluated in the book. Finally, a counterfactual reconstruction of the EPR argument and Bell’s theorem is proposed that sheds a new light on their philosophical consequences regarding the relations between realism and local causation.


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