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Emily Adlam (Cambridge): “Generalized Probabilistic Theories as Structural Realism”
8 March, 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm
This event will take place online via Zoom.
Everyone is welcome to join using a computer with access to the internet and Zoom. To take part just follow these instructions:
Please note that these events are routinely recorded, with the edited footage being made publicly available on our website and YouTube channel. We will only record the audio, the slides and the speaker and will not include the Q&A section. However, any question asked during the talk itself will feature in the final edit.
Abstract: In the field of quantum foundations there is a thriving research programme which involves placing quantum mechanics in a wider space of operationally defined theories in order to gain insight into its structure. There are various existing philosophical analyses of this research framework, but most have a strongly instrumentalist flavour. In this talk, I will argue that this sort of research can alternatively be understood as an implementation of structural realism, with the counterfactual features of the GPT framework encoding information about modal structure. I present a formal approach to the analysis of modal structure in the GPt framework, and demonstrate that structural realism offers new insight into the scientific value of this research and its consequences for future research programmes.