On the Common Structure of the Primitive Ontology Approach and the Information-Theoretic Interpretation of Quantum Theory

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Dunlap, Lucas
preprint description
We use the primitive ontology framework of Allori et al. to analyze the quantum information-theoretic interpretation of Bub and Pitowsky. There are interesting parallels between the two approaches, which differentiate them both from the more standard realist interpretations of quantum theory. Where they differ, however, is in terms of their commitments to an underlying ontology on which the manifest image of the world supervenes. Employing the primitive ontology framework in this way makes perspicuous the differences between the quantum information-theoretic interpretation, and the various realist interpretations of quantum theory. It also allows us to identify a sense in which the commitments of quantum information-theoretic interpretation are underspecified. Several possible ways of completing the interpretation are presented, and it is suggested that the most likely strategy would leave the information-theoretic interpretation such that it would fail to qualify as a theory, according to the primitive ontology approach.