"The Miracles Argument Meets Quantum Mechanics" by Cowling Distinguished Professor of Philosophy, Laura Ruetsche '87
Literally interpreted, many scientific theories purport to tell us about things we can't see: electrons, quarks, etc. Scientific realists believe what successful scientific theories tell us. It would be a miracle, they argue, if scientific theories succeeded despite lying to us about the things we can't see. That's the Miracles Argument for scientific realism. Quantum Mechanics has a very good claim to being the most successful scientific theory anybody we know about has ever concocted. A variety of strange and wonderful and disconcerting things happen if we try to cast the Miracles Argument as an argument for realism about Quantum Mechanics. I will try to describe some of them.
Laura Ruetsche is the Spring 2022 Cowling Distinguished Professor of Philosophy. She graduated from Carleton in 1987, and has been trying to get back ever since. In the meantime, she’s accumulated graduate degrees (a B Phil from Oxford, a PhD from Pitt), tenure-track jobs (at Middlebury College, Pitt, and the University of Michigan), publications (the longest being her 2011 book Interpreting Quantum Theories), and academic recognitions, including the Lakatos Award and election to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
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