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The super-indeterminism in orthodox quantum mechanics does not implicate the reality of experimenter free will

Journal of Physics: Conference Series
Walleczek, J. Phenoscience Laboratories,
Berlin, Germany
2016 Physics

The concept of ‘super-indeterminism’ captures the notion that the free choice assumption of orthodox quantum mechanics necessitates only the following requirement: an agent’s free-choice performance in the selection of measurement settings must not represent an exception to the rule of irreducible quantum indeterminism in the physical universe (i.e, “universal indeterminism”). Any additional metaphysical speculation, such as to whether quantum indeterminism, i.e., intrinsic randomness, implicates the reality of experimenter “freedom”, “free will”, or “free choice”, is redundant in relation to the predictive success of orthodox quantum mechanics.

Accordingly, super-indeterminism views as redundant also, from a technical standpoint, whether an affirmative or a negative answer is claimed in reference to universal indeterminism as a necessary precondition for experimenter freedom. Super-indeterminism accounts, for example, for the circular reasoning which is implicit in the free will theorem by Conway and Kochen [1, 2]. The concept of super- indeterminism is of great assistance in clarifying the often misunderstood meaning of the concept of “free variables” as used by John Bell [3].

The present work argues that Bell sought an operational, effective free will theorem, one based upon the notion of “determinism without predetermination”, i.e., one wherein “free variables” represent universally uncomputable variables. In conclusion, the standard interpretation of quantum theory does not answer, and does not need to answer in order to ensure the predictive success of orthodox theory, the question of whether either incompatibilism or compatibilism is valid in relation to free-will metaphysics and to the free-will phenomenology of experimenter agents in quantum mechanics.

The article was published in: Journal of Physics: Conference Series, 701(1): 012005.

Full article

This work was supported (in part) by the Fetzer Franklin Fund of the John E. Fetzer Memorial Trust.