Laws and States in Quantum Mechanics

  • John Forge
Part of the Australasian Studies in History and Philosophy of Science book series (AUST, volume 12)


The topic to be discussed here, laws in quantum mechanics (QM), is important to me because of the particular account of explanation which I subscribe to. I have called this account the instance view (Forge 1986a). It can be summarised as follows: Something is explained when it is shown to be part of, i.e., an instance of, some suitable pattern in the world. The instance view therefore falls under what has come to be called the ontic conception of explanation.1 The project of developing the theory of explanation along these lines then comprises two main tasks: identifying suitable patterns and showing how ‘things’ fit into them. The former is perhaps the more important, and the more testing, for the philosophy of science, for it is not very helpful to take “suitable” to mean “explanatory”. We need some independent characterisation of what makes a pattern suitable for the purposes of explanation.


Quantum Mechanic Dynamical State Mixed State Pure State Evolution Operator 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Forge
    • 1
  1. 1.Griffith UniversityNathanAustralia

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