How quantum theory helps us explain

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Healey, Richard
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I offer an account of how the quantum theory we have helps us explain the enormous variety of phenomena it is generally taken to explain. The account depends on what I have elsewhere called a pragmatist interpretation of the theory. This rejects views according to which a quantum state describes or represents a physical system, holding instead that it functions as a source of sound advice to physically situated agents like us on the content and appropriate degree of belief about matters concerning which they are currently inevitably ignorant. So while the account given here is incompatible with some views of structural explanation in quantum theory it is nevertheless able to incorporate what I take to be their valuable insights.