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The Family Resemblance View of Quantum Mechanics $45.00
Authors:  Constantin Antonopoulos
Abstract:
In the fifties Wittgenstein surprised the philosophic community (and his own followers) by arguing that there are no real definitions to the words we use, even though we tend to suppose so. All there are, instead, are faint resemblances between the various uses of a word, only erratically matching the putative definition. Strictly speaking, definitions are rarely satisfied as such, if ever. We say that boys play football in the street, a game that has rules, winners and losers. But we also say that little girls play with their dolls, a game that has neither rules, nor winners nor losers. Still we use the same word for both. Wittgenstein coined the famous term “family resemblances” to mark this phenomenon, to him direct testimony of the death of all true generality.
I apply Wittgenstein’s notion of family resemblances to QM in a similar vein. I argue that several discrepant cases in QM, sharing only a faint similarity among them, and a good deal of irreducible differences, are all commonly denoted by physicists by a single name (e.g., “uncertainties” or “wholeness”), and are thus treated as instances of the same principle, exactly as discrepant cases in speech are treated as instantiations of the same name, when in fact they are anything but that in either domain.
In consequence, given the disparities behind the ‘resemblances’, suitably concealed under the same name, what actual experiments confirm from the “family” collection, are not exhaustive of the tested quantum hypothesis, for there are still other family members of the concept to reckon with, which differ from those confirmed, albeit identically named. Hence, only some members of the “family” are confirmed, and the requisite rest not. And then those which are confirmed, given their underlying profound discrepancy with the rest of the “family”, are useless as a genuine support of the theory. 


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The Family Resemblance View of Quantum Mechanics