|Does Quantum Mechanics Disprove the Principle of the Identity of Indiscernibles?|
|Source: Philosophy of Science 45.3 (Sept. 1978), pp. 466-470|
|Paper - Abstract|
It has been argued by A Cortes that, according to the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics, one can construe certain experimental results as showing that photons (light quanta) violate Leibniz's principle of the identity of indiscernibles1 (l), and that such entities should be considered as belonging to a class of entities he calls "non-individuals". I argue that this position is unsupported by the case Cortes gives, and that we should avoid countenancing such a class of entities and the awkward semantics that would result from such talk. Moreover, I maintain that microentities can be construed as satisfying (l) by arguing that, although spatial/temporal properties might fail to differentiate two or more photons, other properties -- I call them 'historical' -- are in fact not shared by each.
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