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  Topic: Uncommonly Dense Thread 4, Fostering a Greater Understanding of IDC< Next Oldest | Next Newest >  

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Joined: Dec. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 11 2012,22:44   

Quote (keiths @ Feb. 11 2012,20:41)

As far as I can see, quantum mechanics doesn't require us to jettison the law of non-contradiction, though it does force us to drop the law of the excluded middle.

However, the issue certainly isn't as cut-and-dried as Barry and StephenB would like to pretend. And StephenB's dogmatic assertion that causality can be derived from the LNC, and that anyone claiming otherwise is denying the "principles of right reason", is clearly bogus.


I agree that quantum mechanics is at odds with the law of excluded middle: a quantum bit can be not only in mutually exclusive states 0 and 1, but also in other physical states that interpolate continuously between them (Bloch sphere).

But I disagree with your attempt to save the law of noncontradiction by viewing these other states as distinct from states 0 and 1.  That is a bit problematic. If all states on the Bloch sphere were distinct then we could store a lot of information using them. However, a two-level system can store at most one bit. A state on the equator of the Bloch sphere is an equal-parts superposition of states at the poles. It is different from them, yet not distinct. That is a rather fine point that we will probably have to discuss later.

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