The Meaning of Elements of Reality and Quantum Counterfactuals: Reply to Kastner

Lev Vaidman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This paper is an answer to the preceding paper by Kastner, in which she continued the criticism of the counterfactual usage of the Aharonov-Bergman-Lebowitz rule in the framework of the time-symmetrized quantum theory, in particular, by analyzing the three-box "paradox." It is argued that the criticism is not sound. Paradoxical features of the three-box example are discussed. It is explained that the elements of reality in the framework of time-symmetrized quantum theory are counterfactual statements, and therefore, even conflicting elements of reality can be associated with a single system. It is shown how such "counterfactual" elements of reality can be useful in the analysis of a physical experiment (the three-box example). The validity of Kastner's application of the consistent histories approach to the time-symmetrized counterfactuals is questioned.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)865-876
Number of pages12
JournalFoundations of Physics
Volume29
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1999

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