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Philosophical Comments Two different classes of philosophical questions are raised by reflection upon t he theoretical and experimental investigations

concerning Bell's Theorem. Questi ons of one class are logical and methodological: whether one can legitimately in fer from these investigations that quantum mechanics is non-local, and whether t he experimental data definitively prove that Bell's Inequalities are violated. Q uestions of the other class are metaphysical: upon assumption that the logical a nd methodological questions are answered positively, what conclusions can be dra wn about the structure and constitution of the physical world, in particular is nature non-local despite the remarkable success of relativity theory? A logical question has been raised by Fine. In a paper (Fine 1999), which analyz es the construction of Hardy discussed in Section 6, Fine concludes with a philo sophical thesis: That means that the Hardy theorem, like other variants on Bell, is not a proof of nonlocality. It is a proof that locality cannot be married to th e assignment of determinate values in the recommended way. That is interesting a nd significant. It is not, however, a demonstration that quantum mechanics is no nlocal, much less (as some proclaim) that nature is. Fine's analysis of Hardy's c onstruction relies upon his earlier paper (Fine 1982b) which contains the follow ing theorem (which is a combination of his Theorem 4, p. 1309, and footnote 5 on p. 1310): For a correlation experiment with observables A1, A2, B1, B2 and with exactl y the four pairs Ai, Bj (i = 1,2; j= 1,2) commuting, the following statements ar e equivalent: (I) the Bell/CH inequalities hold for the single and double probab ilities of the experiment; (II) there is a joint distribution P(A1,A2,B 1,B2) co mpatible with the observed single and double distributions; (III) there is a det erministic hidden variables theory for A1, A2, B1, B2 returning the observed sin gle and double distributions; (IV) there is a well-defined joint distribution (f or the noncommuting pairs B1, B2) and joint distributions P(A1,B1,B 2),each of t he latter compatible with B1, B2 and with the observed single and double distrib utions; (V) there exists a factorizable (so-called local) stochastic hidden variab les theory for A1, A2, B1, B2 returning the observed single and double distribut ions.[3] Proposition (I) is the one of the five propositions in this theorem which is ame nable to direct experimental confirmation or disconfirmation. I shall accept for the present the experimental disconfirmation of some of these Inequalities, lea ving a consideration of methodological doubts about this disconfirmation for dis cussion below. With this proviso it follows that each of the propositions (II), (III), (IV), and (V) is disconfirmed by modus tollens. The disconfirmation of (V ) logically implies the falsity of the conjunction of all the premisses from whi ch the Bell/CH (called BCH in Section 4) Inequalities are inferred: namely, the as sumptions (5), (6), and (7) in Section 2 about the existence of well-defined sin gle and double probabilities, and the Independence Conditions (8a,b) and (9a,b), respectively called Remote Outcome Independence and Remote Context Independence. Us ually the assumptions (5), (6), and (7) are not doubted, for two reasons: first, they are implicit in the pervasive assumption in hidden-variables investigation s that the phenomenological assertions of quantum mechanics are correct an assum ption which even permits us to use the concept of a complete state, denoted by m, which is the quantum state itself if there are no hidden variables, or the compl ete specification of the hidden variables if such entities exist; second, there is overwhelming experimental confirmation of these assumptions by the practical success of quantum mechanics, not just in experimentation regarding hidden-varia bles hypotheses. (In spite of these weighty considerations there is one importan t program which attempts to weaken or replace assumptions (5), (6), and (7), nam ely that of Stapp, briefly discussed in Section 6.) Consequently, the falsity of the conjunction of the premisses from which the BCH Inequality is derived impli es the falsity of one or both of the Independence Conditions (8a,b) and (9a,b).

Since the failure of either of these Conditions is prima facie in contradiction with relativistic locality, it is not important for the present concern to inves tigate which of the two Independence Conditions is weaker a question that will b e taken up later in Section 7. The conclusion at this stage in the argument, whe n propositions (II), (III), and (IV) of Fine's theorem have been neglected, is t hat the experimental disconfirmation of the BCH Inequalities does imply the occu rrence of non-locality in natural phenomena and since the quantum mechanical ana lysis of pairs of systems in entangled states anticipates non-local phenomena, q uantum mechanics itself is a a non-local theory. This pair of conclusions is wha t Fine claims, in the passage from (Fine 1999) quoted above, has not been demons trated. What he allows, in virtue of his theorem is the weaker conclusion that lo cality cannot be married to the assignment of determinate values in the recommen ded way. But is this retrenchment to a weaker conclusion logically justified? The strong conclusion that quantum mechanics and nature are non-local has been derived from one part of the theorem that (V) implies (I) together with some auxiliary analy sis of premisses (5), (6), and (7). The other parts of the theorem the equivalen ces of (II), (III), (IV) to each other and to (I) and (V) provide information su pplementary to that provided by the equivalence of (I) and (V), but as a matter of logic do not diminish the information given by the last equivalence. The last resort of a dedicated adherent of local realistic theories, influenced perhaps by Einstein's advocacy of this point of view, is to conjecture that appa rent violations of locality are the result of conspiracy plotted in the overlap of the backward light cones of the analysis-detection events in the 1 and 2 arms of the experiment. These backward light cones always do overlap in the Einstein -Minkowski space-time of Special Relativity Theory (SRT) a framework which can a ccommodate infinitely many processes besides the standard ones of relativistic f ield theory. Elimination of any finite set of concrete scenarios to account for the conspiracy leaves infinitely many more as unexamined and indeed unarticulate d possibilities. What attitude should a reasonable scientist take towards these infinite riches of possible scenarios? We should certainly be warned by the powe r of Hume's skepticism concerning induction not to expect a solution that would be as convincing as a deductive demonstration and not to expect that the inducti ve support of induction itself can fill the gap formed by the shortcoming of a d eductive justification of induction (Hume 1748, Sect. 4). One solution to this p roblem is a Bayesian strategy that attempts to navigate between dogmatism and ex cessive skepticism (Shimony 1993, Shimony 1994). To avoid the latter one should keep the mind open to a concrete and testable proposal regarding the mechanism o f the suspected conspiracy in the overlap of the backward light cones, giving su ch a proposal a high enough prior probability to allow the possibility that its posterior probability after testing will warrant acceptance. To avoid the former one should not give the broad and unspecific proposal that a conspiracy exists such high prior probability that the concrete hypothesis of the correctness of Q uantum Mechanics is debarred effectively from acquiring a sufficiently high post erior probability to warrant acceptance. This strategy actually is implicit in o rdinary scientific method. It does not guarantee that in any investigation the s cientific method is sure to find a good approximation to the truth, but it is a procedure for following the great methodological maxim: Do not block the way of i nquiry (Peirce 1931).[4] A second solution, which can be used in tandem with the first, is to pursue theo retical understanding of a baffling conceptual problem that at present confronts us: that the prima facie nonlocality of Quantum Mechanics will remain a permane nt part of our physical world view, in spite of its apparent tension with Relati vistic locality. This solution opens the second type of philosophical questions mentioned in the initial paragraph of the present section, that is, metaphysical questions about the structure and constitution of the physical world. Among the proposals for a solution of the second kind are the following.

The tension between Quantum Mechanical nonlocality and Relativistic locality is not serious, and there is indeed a kind of peaceful coexistence (if one philos ophically modifies a famous political maxim of Khrushchev) between the two branc hes of physics. It is indeed true that the measurements in regions of space-like separation of correlated quantities in two systems that are Quantum Mechanicall y entangled have correlated outcomes that cannot be accounted for by hidden vari ables, and such correlations are a kind of causality, unprecedented in pre-quant um physics. And yet it has been shown by several investigators (Eberhard 1978, G hirardi, Rimini & Weber 1980, Page 1982) that this kind of causality cannot be u sed to send messages superluminally between the stations of the two measurements , which is the principal prohibition of Relativistic locality. Bohm's nonlocal m odel peacefully coexists with relativistic locality for another reason: that the width of the effective wave function which is employed in the guidance equation is not sufficiently controllable to ensure a desired result of measurement of t he quantity required to transmit a message. The proposal of peaceful coexistence w as in fact espoused at one time by the present author (Shimony 1978, Section V), but he was dissuaded from it by a powerful anti-anthropocentric argument of Joh n Bell: Do we then have to fall back on no signaling faster than light as the expr ession of the fundamental causal structure of contemporary theoretical physics? That is hard for me to accept. For one thing we have lost the idea that correlat ions can be explained, or at least this idea awaits reformulation. More importan tly, the no signaling notion rests on concepts that are desperately vague, or vagu ely applicable. The assertion that we cannot signal faster than light immediately provokes the question: Who do we think we are? We who make measurements, we who can manipulate external fields, we who can s ignal at all, even if not faster than light. Do we include chemists, or only phys icists, plants, or only animals, pocket calculators, or only mainframe computers ? (Bell 1990, Sec. 6.12) There may indeed be peaceful coexistence between Quantum nonlocality and Relat ivistic locality, but it may have less to do with signaling than with the ontolo gy of the quantum state. Heisenberg's view of the mode of reality of the quantum state was briefly mentioned in Section 2 that it is potentiality as contrasted with actuality. This distinction is successful in making a number of features of quantum mechanics intuitively plausible indefiniteness of properties, complemen tarity, indeterminacy of measurement outcomes, and objective probability. But no w something can be added, at least as a conjecture: that the domain governed by Relativistic locality is the domain of actuality, while potentialities have care ers in space-time (if that word is appropriate) which modify and even violate th e restrictions that space-time structure imposes upon actual events. The peculia r kind of causality exhibited when measurements at stations with space-like sepa ration are correlated is a symptom of the slipperiness of the space-time behavio r of potentialities. This is the point of view tentatively espoused by the prese nt writer, but admittedly without full understanding. What is crucially missing is a rational account of the relation between potentialities and actualities jus t how the wave function probabilistically controls the occurrence of outcomes. I n other words, a real understanding of the position tentatively espoused depends upon a solution to another great problem in the foundations of quantum mechanic s the problem of reduction of the wave packet. Yes, something is communicated superluminally when measurements are made upo n sysems characterized by an entangled state, but that something is information, and there is no Relativistic locality principle which constrains its velocity. There are many expressions of this point of view, an eloquent one being the foll owing by Zeilinger:

The quantum state is exactly that representation of our knowledge of the complete situation which enables the maximal set of (probabilistic) predictions of any possible future observation. What comes new in quantum mechanics is that , instead of just listing the various experimental possibilities with the indivi dual probabilities, we have to represent our knowledge of the situation by the q uantum state using complex amplitudes. If we accept that the quantum state is no more than a representation of the information we have, then the spontaneous cha nge of the state upon observation, the so-called collapse or reduction of the wa ve packet, is just a very natural consequence of the fact that, upon observation , our information changes and therefore we have to change our representation of the information, that is, the quantum state. (1999, p. S291). This point of view is very successful at accounting for the arbitrarily fast connection between the outcomes of correlated measurements, but it scants the o bjective features of the quantum state. Especially it scants the fact that the q uantum state probabilistically controls the occurrence of actual events. A radical idea concerning the structure and constitution of the physical wor ld, which would throw new light upon quantum nonlocality, is the conjecture of H eller and Sasin (1999) about the nature of space-time in the very small, specifi cally at distances below the Planck length (about 10-33 cm). Quantum uncertainti es in this domain have the consequence of making ill-defined the metric structur e of General Relativity Theory. As a result, according to them, basic geometric concepts like point and neighborhood are ill-defined, and non-locality is pervas ive rather than exceptional as in atomic, nuclear, and elementary particle physi cs. Our ordinary physics, at the level of elementary particles and above, is (in principle, though the details are obscure) recoverable as the correspondence li mit of the physics below the Planck length. What is most relevant to Bell's Theo rem is that the non-locality which it makes explicit in Quantum Mechanics is a s mall indication of pervasive ultramicroscopic nonlocality. If this conjecture is taken seriously, then the baffling tension between Quantum nonlocality and Rela tivistic locality is a clue to physics in the small. Regrettably we not longer h ave John Bell, with his incomparable analytic powers, to comment on this radical proposal.