Quantum Humeanism, or: physicalism without properties

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Esfeld, Michael
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In recent literature, it has become clear that quantum physics does not refute Humeanism: Lewis’s thesis of Humean supervenience can be literally true even in the light of quantum entanglement. This point has so far been made with respect to Bohm’s quantum theory. Against this background, this paper seeks to achieve the following four results: (1) to generalize the option of quantum Humeanism from Bohmian mechanics to primitive ontology theories in general; (2) to show that this option applies also to classical mechanics; (3) to establish that it requires a commitment to matter as primitive stuff, but no commitment to natural properties (physicalism without properties); (4) to point out that by removing the commitment to properties, the stock metaphysical objections against Humeanism from quidditism and humility no longer apply. In that way, quantum physics strengthens Humeanism instead of refuting it.