It's a Matter of Principle. Scientific Explanation in Information-Theoretic Reconstructions of Quantum Theory

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Felline, Laura
preprint description
The aim of this paper is to explore the ways in which Axiomatic Reconstructions of Quantum Theory in terms of Information-Theoretic principles (ARQITs) can contribute to explaining and understanding quantum phenomena, as well as to study their explanatory limitations. This is achieved in part by offering an account of the kind of explanation that axiomatic reconstructions of quantum theory provide, and re-evaluating the epistemic status of the program in light of this explanation. As illustrative cases studies, I take Clifton's, Bub's and Halvorson's characterization theorem and Popescu's and Rohrlich's toy models, and their explanatory contribution with respect to quantum non-locality. On the one hand, I argue that ARQITs can aspire to provide genuine explanations of (some aspects of) quantum non-locality. On the other hand, I argue that such explanations cannot rule out a mechanical quantum theory.