Is Mereology Empirical? Composition for Fermions [chapter]

Adam Caulton
Metaphysics in Contemporary Physics  
How best to think about quantum systems under permutation invariance is a question that has received a great deal of attention in the literature. But very little attention has been paid to taking seriously the proposal that permutation invariance reflects a representational redundancy in the formalism. Under such a proposal, it is far from obvious how a constituent quantum system is represented. Consequently, it is also far from obvious how quantum systems compose to form assemblies, i.e. what
more » ... s the formal structure of their relations of parthood, overlap and fusion. In this paper, I explore one proposal for the case of fermions and their assemblies. According to this proposal, fermionic assemblies which are not entangled-in some heterodox, but natural sense of 'entangled'-provide a prima facie counterexample to classical mereology. This result is puzzling; but, I argue, no more unpalatable than any other available interpretative option.
doi:10.1163/9789004310827_013 fatcat:dddoducbebfeteylxk7zctvbey