PHIL 424 - Philosophy of Quantum Mechanics
Section: 001
Term: WN 2018
Subject: Philosophy (PHIL)
Department: LSA Philosophy
Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
Advisory Prerequisites:
One course is Philosophy and one in Mathematics or Physics.
This course counts toward the 60 credits of math/science required for a Bachelor of Science degree.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

Quantum theories of matter are astonishingly successful, and deeply mysterious.

Niels Bohr is said to have remarked that, "Those who are not shocked when they first come across quantum theory cannot possibly have understood it."

Richard Feynman said, "I think I can safely say that nobody understands quantum mechanics."

Some quantum weirdness is unavoidable — it appears, for instance, that wholes really are more than the sum of their parts and that nature is non-local in a surprising way. Other weirdnesses are features of some ways of understanding quantum mechanics but not others: indeterminism, randomness, branching worlds, surprising connections between the physical and the mental. We will look at some currently popular approaches: Bohm's deterministic theory, spontaneous collapse theories, many-worlds and many-minds theories. Prior familiarity with quantum mechanics is not required (but comfort with algebra would be an asset).

Course Requirements:

A problem set, three papers, and a take-home final exam.

Intended Audience:

Advanced students with some background in philosophy, mathematics, or physics

Class Format:

3 hr of lecture with discussion/wk.

PHIL 424 - Philosophy of Quantum Mechanics
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
TuTh 2:30PM - 4:00PM
NOTE: Data maintained by department in Wolverine Access. If no textbooks are listed below, check with the department.

ISBN: 9780674741126
Quantum mechanics and experience, Author: Albert, David Z., Publisher: Harvard Univ. Press 2000
ISBN: 1444396978
Quantum non-locality and relativity : metaphysical intimations of modern physics, Author: Maudlin, Tim., Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell 2011
Syllabi are available to current LSA students. IMPORTANT: These syllabi are provided to give students a general idea about the courses, as offered by LSA departments and programs in prior academic terms. The syllabi do not necessarily reflect the assignments, sequence of course materials, and/or course expectations that the faculty and departments/programs have for these same courses in the current and/or future terms.

Click the button below to view historical syllabi for PHIL 424 (UM login required)

View Historical Syllabi
The CourseProfile (ART) system, supported by the U-M Provost’s 3rd Century Initiative through a grant to the Office of Academic Innovation, provides additional information about: course enrollments; academic terms and instructors; student academic profiles (school/college, majors), and previous, concurrent, and subsequent course enrollments.

CourseProfile (ART)