Conspiracy Theories of Quantum Mechanics

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Lewis, Peter J.
preprint description
It has long been recognized that a local hidden-variable theory of quantum mechanics can in principle be constructed, provided one is willing to countenance pre-measurement correlations between the properties of measured systems and measuring devices. However, this “conspiratorial” approach is typically dismissed out of hand. In this paper I examine the justification for dismissing conspiracy theories of quantum mechanics. I consider the existing arguments against such theories, and find them to be less than conclusive. I suggest a more powerful argument against the leading strategy for constructing a conspiracy theory. Finally, I outline two alternative strategies for constructing conspiracy theories, both of which are immune to these arguments, but require one to either modify or reject the common cause principle.