Foundations of Physics

, Volume 45, Issue 10, pp 1330–1340 | Cite as

Reconstruction and Reinvention in Quantum Theory

  • Michael DicksonEmail author


I consider the fact that there are a number of interesting ways to ‘reconstruct’ quantum theory, and suggest that, very broadly speaking, a form of ‘instrumentalism’ makes good sense of the situation. This view runs against some common wisdom, which dismisses instrumentalism as ‘cheap’. In contrast, I consider how an instrumentalist might think about the reconstruction theorems, and, having made a distinction between ‘reconstructing’ quantum theory and ‘reinventing’ quantum theory, I suggest that there is an adequate (not ‘cheap’) instrumentalist approach to the theory (and to these theorems) that invokes both.


Quantum theory Reconstruction Instrumentalism 



Thanks to the organizers of the session on reconstruction theorems, to two anonymous referees, and to the participants for their helpful questions and comments.


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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Philosophy, College of Arts and SciencesUniversity of South CarolinaColumbiaUSA

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