In his article "Quantum mechanics and reality: Can the physical world be an abstraction?" philosopher Tim Maudlin discusses the relationship between quantum mechanics and the concept of reality. Maudlin argues that quantum mechanics presents a fundamental challenge to our understanding of reality because it reveals that physical properties are not intrinsic to the objects themselves but rather depend on the measurement process. This means that reality is not objective, as it depends on the observer and the context in which the measurement is made.
Maudlin explores the idea that the physical world could be an abstraction rather than a concrete reality. He argues that our perception of the world is mediated by our sensory experiences and that these experiences may not correspond to the underlying reality. He suggests that the world may be more like a computer simulation, where the physical laws are just rules governing the manipulation of symbols rather than describing objective reality.
Maudlin also examines the concept of locality in quantum mechanics, which implies that there is no action at a distance. He argues that this concept challenges our understanding of space and time as well as our concept of causality. He suggests that the non-locality in quantum mechanics could be a hint that reality is not a concrete physical world but rather an abstraction.
Overall, Maudlin's article argues that quantum mechanics presents a challenge to our traditional understanding of reality and suggests that the physical world may be more abstract than we previously thought. He invites readers to rethink their understanding of the nature of reality, and to consider the possibility that the physical world is an abstraction rather than a concrete reality.
Check out Tim in this in-depth interview.