Flavio Del Santo
University of Geneva & Constructor UniversityPotentiality realism: Classical and quantum indeterminism

We will discuss an interpretation of physics named “potentiality realism”. This view, which can be applied to classical as well as to quantum physics, regards potentialities (i.e. intrinsic, objective propensities for individual events to obtain) as elements of reality, thereby complementing the actual values taken by physical variables. This allows one to naturally reconcile realism and fundamental indeterminism in any theoretical framework. We discuss our specific interpretation of propensities, that require them to depart from being probabilities at the formal level, though allowing for statistics and the law of large numbers. This view helps reconcile classical and quantum physics by showing that most of the conceptual problems that are customarily taken to be unique issues of the latter –such as the measurement problem–, are actually in common to all indeterministic physical theories.