Lisbon Philosophy of Physics Seminars: Vera Matarese (25 May on Zoom)

On Wednesday 25 May Vera Matarese (University of Bern) will give a talk titled “Quantum Fictionalism”.


The series of online seminars is organized in the context of the activities of the LanCog Research Group at the Centre of Philosophy of the University of Lisbon, and will focus on the foundations of quantum and spacetime physics.


The meeting will be online on Zoom (17:00-19:00 CEST). If you have not registered yet, you can do so here.


You can address any question to Andrea Oldofredi (


Quantum mechanics is arguably our most successful physical theory, and yet the debate on its ontology is still far from offering a definite answer. On the one hand, representationalists claim that quantum states directly represent quantum beables, on the other hand, anti-representationalists interpret quantum states only prescriptively or instrumentally. Much effort was put into refining and evaluating these two unsatisfactory camps, rather than offering new alternatives. This paper proposes, articulates, and defends a fictionalist view which accounts for the nature of quantum objects, and which combines elements of the representationalist and of the anti-representationalist camps. The core idea is that quantum objects do not physically exist, since they exist qua fictional entities, and yet, they have an explanatory power that underwrites the kind of explanations normally given by representationalists.