An Epistemological Critique of Bohmian Mechanics

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In this paper, I argue that, as currently developed, Bohm’s theory does not provide a better explanation of observable phenomena than a phenomenalist account of quantum mechanics, that is, an account that merely takes the phenomenological laws of quantum mechanics as its unexplained given. Thus, by a version of Ockam’s razor, I conclude that we do not have sufficient reason to believe that Bohm’s theory is (approximately) true — that is, that it provides a basically correct account of the way the world is. Although not everyone interested in Bohm’s theory is concerned with its truth, it is an issue that should be of concern to those trying to understand what quantum mechanics tells us about the nature of the world.


Originally published as:

“An Epistemological Critique of Bohmian Mechanics.” In Bohmian Mechanics and Quantum Theory: An Appraisal, James T. Cushing, Arthur Fine, and Sheldon Goldstein, eds., Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1996, pp. 265–76.

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