Retrocausal Effects as a Consequence of Quantum Mechanics Refined to Accommodate the Principle of Sufficient Reason

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The principle of sufficient reason asserts that anything that happens does so for a reason: no definite state of affairs can come into being unless there is a sufficient reason why that particular thing should happen. This principle is usually attributed to Leibniz, although the first recorded Western philosopher to use it was Anaximander of Miletus. The demand that nature be rational, in the sense that it be compatible with the principle of sufficient reason, conflicts with a basic feature of contemporary orthodox physical theory, namely the notion that nature's response to the probing action of an observer is determined ... continued below

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Stapp, Henry P. May 10, 2011.

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The principle of sufficient reason asserts that anything that happens does so for a reason: no definite state of affairs can come into being unless there is a sufficient reason why that particular thing should happen. This principle is usually attributed to Leibniz, although the first recorded Western philosopher to use it was Anaximander of Miletus. The demand that nature be rational, in the sense that it be compatible with the principle of sufficient reason, conflicts with a basic feature of contemporary orthodox physical theory, namely the notion that nature's response to the probing action of an observer is determined by pure chance, and hence on the basis of absolutely no reason at all. This appeal to pure chance can be deemed to have no rational fundamental place in reason-based Western science. It is argued here, on the basis of the other basic principles of quantum physics, that in a world that conforms to the principle of sufficient reason, the usual quantum statistical rules will naturally emerge at the pragmatic level, in cases where the reason behind nature's choice of response is unknown, but that the usual statistics can become biased in an empirically manifest way when the reason for the choice is empirically identifiable. It is shown here that if the statistical laws of quantum mechanics were to be biased in this way then the basically forward-in-time unfolding of empirical reality described by orthodox quantum mechanics would generate the appearances of backward-time-effects of the kind that have been reported in the scientific literature.

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  • Journal Name: Foundations of Physics

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  • Report No.: LBNL-4570E
  • Grant Number: DE-AC02-05CH11231
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 1019310
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc841771

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  • May 10, 2011

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  • May 19, 2016, 3:16 p.m.

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  • June 15, 2016, 9:37 p.m.

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Stapp, Henry P. Retrocausal Effects as a Consequence of Quantum Mechanics Refined to Accommodate the Principle of Sufficient Reason, article, May 10, 2011; Berkeley, California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc841771/: accessed October 22, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.