Reply to Norsen's paper "Are there really two different Bell's theorems?"
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Yes. That is my polemical reply to the titular question in Travis Norsen’s self-styled “polemical response to Howard Wiseman’s recent paper.” Less polemically,I am pleased to see that on two of my positions—that Bell’s 1964 theorem is different from Bell’s 1976 theorem, and that the former does not include Bell’s one-paragraph heuristic presentation of the EPR argument — Norsen has made signiﬁcant concessions. In his response, Norsen admits that “Bell’s recapitulation of the EPR argument in [the relevant] paragraph leaves something to be desired,” that it “disappoints” and is “problematic”. Moreover, Norsen makes other statements that imply, on the face of it, that he should have no objections to the title of my recent paper (“The Two Bell’s Theorems of John Bell”). My principle aim in writing that paper was to try to bridge the gap between two interpretational camps, whom I call ‘operationalists’ and ‘realists’,by pointing out that they use the phrase “Bell’s theorem” to mean different things: his 1964 theorem (assuming locality and determinism) and his 1976 theorem (assuming local causality), respectively. Thus, it is heartening that at least one person from one side has taken one step on my bridge. That said, there are several issues of contention with Norsen, which we (the two authors) address after discussing the extent of our agreement with Norsen. The most signiﬁcant issues are: the indeﬁniteness of the word ‘locality’ prior to 1964; and the assumptions Einstein made in the paper quoted by Bell in 1964 and their relation to Bell’s theorem.
International Journal of Quantum Foundations
© 2015 by Howard M. Wiseman and Eleanor G. Rieffel. This article is an Open Access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction, provided the original work is properly cited.
Quantum Physics not elsewhere classified
History and Philosophy of Science (incl. Non-historical Philosophy of Science)