Maudlin’s Challenge Refuted: A Reply to Lewis

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Kastner, Ruth
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Lewis has recently argued that Maudlin’s contingent absorber experiment remains a significant problem for the Transactional Interpretation (TI). He argues that the only straightforward way to resolve the challenge is by describing the absorbers as offer waves, and asserts that this is a previously unnoticed aspect of the challenge for TI. This argument is refuted in two basic ways: (i) it is noted that the Maudlin experiment cannot be meaningfully recast with absorbers described by quantum states; instead the author replaces it with an ordinary which-way experiment; and (ii) the extant rebuttals to the Maudlin challenge in its original form are not in fact subject to the alleged flaws that Lewis ascribes to them. This paper further seeks to clarify the issues raised in Lewis’ presentation concerning the distinction between quantum systems and macroscopic objects in TI. It is noted that the latest, possibilist version of TI (PTI) has no ambiguity concerning macroscopic absorbers. In particular, macroscopic objects are not subject to indeterminate trajectories, since they are continually undergoing collapse. It is concluded that the Maudlin challenge poses no significant problem for the transactional interpretation.