Einstein–Podolsky–Rosen paradox (EPR paradox)

Readings: Be sure to read John Norton’s e-book chapter (Lecture 5.2).

You may also wish to have a look at the SEP article by Arthur Fine on The Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen Argument in Quantum Theory or Laszlo Szabo’s The Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen Argument and the Bell Inequalities. (Links all down below!) Background.

It would be hard to evaluate the incompleteness thesis without some discussion of the phenomenon of entanglement, so you should expect to discuss this briefly; however, you will not have enough words available to develop all of quantum mechanics in this essay, so you should try to extract only the bits of quantum mechanics that you need to make your point.

Make sure you are giving a clear reconstruction either of the EPR argument or Einstein’s argument given in his Autobiographical Notes. Finally, articulate which assumption of Einstein’s argument is suspect and why.

Reading Links: http://www.pitt.edu/~jdnorton/teaching/HPS_0410/chapters/quantum_theory_completeness/index.html https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/qt-epr/ https://www.iep.utm.edu/wp-content/media/epr-bell-pdf-2018.pdf Entanglement Theory Links: (YOU WILL NEED THIS) https://personal.lse.ac.uk/gyenisb/physcity/lecture5.1.html http://www.pitt.edu/~jdnorton/teaching/HPS_0410/chapters/quantum_theory_completeness/index.html

Writing Philosophy You’ll only really learn to write a good philosophical essay through practice; but again a few hints can be given. Always answer the question you have been asked.

The main structure of your essay should be dictated by the “question” and, where it really is a question, you should come to some explicit answer to it – even if this is mixed or complex.

Suppose, for example, you were set the question ‘Did Hume show that induction is a rationally indefensible process?’ Then the conclusion of your essay might be something like ‘So, did Hume show that induction is a rationally indefensible process?

I have argued that, relative to one conception of rationality, Hume succeeded; but I have also shown that there is an equally plausible conception under which induction can count as rational, despite Hume’s strictures.’ Or suppose that you are asked ‘Is the moral act always the one that produces the greatest total well-being?’  Then the essay might end with ‘I have argued that there are cases where this utilitarian maxim would lead one to act in a way that is clearly immoral intuitively and hence that the maxim is not generally true.’ Or perhaps: ‘I have argued that, although some philosophers have argued that there are cases where acting to promote greatest total well-being would lead one to act immorally, in fact, on analysis, these alleged counter-examples dissolve, leaving the utilitarian maxim unrefuted.’ Target audience. Your target audience should be the ‘educated layman’, that is, someone who is clever, sympathetic, but has not read the particular material that you have been reading and on which your essay is based (or maybe s/he only dimly remembers most of it). Having such a target will force you to try to give a clear account of the material at issue; if instead you plunge into a detailed discussion that presupposes that material, it won’t be clear (not even to yourself) whether you have really understood it. Use your own words. Although we do not usually expect originality (after all, the people you will be reading have been thinking about the issues for years, not weeks), we do expect you NOT to write an essay by simply copying chunks from the reading. To do so without reference amounts to plagiarism; you should always cite the author when you do quote. But you should in any event avoid long quotations. The occasional very sharp quotation is fine, but in general you should use your own words even when you are straightforwardly describing someone else’s position.

One way to ensure you do this is to put the books aside when you are writing (consulting them again only when you get stuck). You obviously haven’t understood someone’s position if you can’t re-express it independently. Style. Do not aim to impress with your erudition and capacity to write long intricate sentences involving long words. Try to express your views (and those of the authors you report) as simply and concisely as possible. A good test is to read your essay out loud: if it sounds awkward, re-express it more simply. 8 Scholarly apparatus. When you paraphrase or quote a piece, give a full reference, including a page number (or, in some cases, such as classic texts, a section, paragraph and line number), in any of the standard formats (see any contemporary article or book published with a leading press for an acceptable way of citing). In summary, each essay is evaluated on the basis of the following. Expression and style Structure and organisation Understanding and use of literature Quality of analysis and evaluation Quality of argument Independence and originality We would further add that a good essay always begins by stating a clear thesis in the introduction, and its aim is to formulate a valid, compelling argument over the course of the essay. ADDITIONAL PHILOSOPHY WRITING GUIDE: https://personal.lse.ac.uk/ROBERT49/teaching/Guide.pdf PLEASE GET IN TOUCH IF THERE ARE ANY ISSUES AND WE CAN SORT THEM OUT TOGETHER. BEST OF LUCK AND I REALLY DO EXPECT THE HIGHEST POSSIBLE QUALITY WITH NO PLAGIARISM AT ALL.

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