View Poll Results: What do observed violation of Bell's inequality tell us about nature? Nature is non-local 11 32.35% Anti-realism (quantum measurement results do not pre-exist) 15 44.12% Other: Superdeterminism, backward causation, many worlds, etc. 8 23.53% Voters: 34. You may not vote on this poll

# What do violations of Bell's inequalities tell us about nature?

by bohm2
Tags: bell, inequalities, nature, violations
P: 39
 Quote by ttn Yes, obviously this is a complex issue. Is the white color of the flag intrinsic in the flag, or is it somehow a relational property between the flag and my sensory apparatus, or what? All of these sorts of things are tricky and subtle and probably none of us want to get into them here! My point is just: if you think we can get any useful information at all about the external world from our senses (and I certainly do), then surely this will have to include basic facts like that there is a 3D world full of stuff that moves around and interacts and that includes things like little flag-shaped hunks of material that sometimes pop up and down. My view is that, if you regard that as even-possibly-mistaken, then you are never going to get anything remotely resembling empirical science off the ground; certainly, if such things "might be wrong", then *literally everything we have ever taken as empirical evidence for anything in science ever* "might be wrong", and then, well, we're totally at sea.

I don’t follow this I’m afraid (or perhaps I should tentatively say I don’t agree with it!). Surely, all we have to work with is phenomena, the scientific method involving testability works within this framework and it is that framework that I refer to as empirical reality. This (our) reality of phenomena exists within space and time and involves all the phenomena of mechanisms that cause, as you say, flags to pop up and down and everything else that we experience as phenomena. But, to preempt what I say below, I don't consider that space and time, cause and effect or any other familiar and scientific notions exist in that manner outside of phenomena, i.e within independent reality. As far as I can work out, holding such a view in no way diminishes the power of the scientific method, the models work and often work exceedingly well, it's just that I don't extrapolate those models with their scientific credentials to an area outside of the realm in which they were created and tested, i.e. to the realm of independent reality. There is nothing stopping anyone extrapolating them of course to independent reality, but then they cease to become empirical models (how can an empirical model be valid within an arena that lay outside of empiricism), rather I think they become philosophical conjecture because of the reasons I outline below.

What scientists do is to try and step outside of phenomena and apply their empirically verified models to independent reality and they do so via various flavours of realism. Realist conceptions are composed of two elements. The first consists of the notion of a reality conceived as totally independent of our possible means of knowing it (independent reality) – along with the hypothesis that we do have access to this reality, in the sense that we can say something “true” concerning it. But this hypothesis, is not scientifically provable (which is not to say it is incorrect of course and there are legitimate means in which to assert the theory in terms of the no miracle argument, but there are equally valid counter arguments that can be made). The second of these two elements concerns a representation we build up of independent reality worked out from the phenomena, but since the first element can only be an hypothesis, the second element can obviously not be tested and hence lay outside of the scientific method.

The question as to how close empirical reality is to independent reality is an untestable one, so I tend to stay on the side of caution – a miss is as good as a mile, I can’t see the point of assuming a degree of closeness, as if perhaps we only need to concern ourselves with the mechanistic alteration to the “thing in it’s self” by the characteristics of the eye – that to me seems a bit of a cop out, it restores a comfortable feeling that what lay within independent reality is a rough approximation of phenomena. Such a view can act as a counter to the uncomfortable logic associated with taking on board the notion of our reality as existing only as phenomena, and I would tentatively suggest that this may be the stance you take up, it allows a sense of scientific accessibility to some aspects of independent reality, but as I say, for me a miss is as good as a mile. So I go the whole hog, I don’t presuppose that we can know anything about independent reality using familiar notions and the scientific method, in fact I don’t consider that independent reality is embedded in space and time. But none of this stops me in any manner at all in seeing empirical reality as being entirely valid, it is our reality and it works and I don’t invoke solipsism or idealism here. I consider the notion of an unknowable independent reality to be perfectly adequate in providing the means in which to philosophically envisage empirical reality as an “emergent” (“emergent” in this sense not referring to any familiar notions) entity governed by laws that have their “origin” (“origin” here not referring to any familiar notions) within independent reality rather than being entirely referenced to minds (or a single mind) as per radical idealism or solipsism. Of course the logic of this stance entails giving up the notion of (for example) stars as having an intrinsic historical time line outside of empirical reality, from this perspective there was no birth of the star outside of empirical reality, rather that birth is scientifically explained by us in terms of an hypothetical observer being present all those years ago and along its time line there after, after all, all we have to explain the star is phenomena, so to be consistent I can’t extrapolate that phenomena to an arena within independent reality under the name of science (i.e. to a universe outside of empirical reality) - from this perspective of mine, a scientific model is solely a property of human experience and has to stay that way. So the time line of the star is one that only exists within empirical reality, the star does not have an intrinsic historical time line. So it can be an uncomfortable stance, but it’s one that seems to make a lot of sense to me and separates the proper scientific method (in terms of verified models within empirical reality) from what ever we call the mode of inquiry that attempts to investigate independent reality, given that the relationship between empirical reality (our reality) and independent reality (a reality outside of phenomena) is not a scientific one.

Of course such a standpoint confines science to accounting for empirical reality in terms of human experience rather than being able to explain independent reality. I guess such a standpoint is untenable to you, but for me it seems to be the only way forward in terms of what science seemingly can access. Having said that, I am always keen to see if there are grounds in which the scientific method can be shown to be valid in terms of its remit of testability within an arena of independent reality that by definition cannot include any notion of testability because testability can only be invoked by an observer and phenomena which immediately sets up the testability as occurring within empirical reality. But I guess I have already gone too far from the scope of this thread, I have only done so though to illustrate that there are means in which phenomena by itself can be properly dealt with by the scientific method, albeit in a manner of explaining human experience concerning empirical reality (phenomena) rather than explaining independent reality (outside of phenomena).

These issues are explored very comprehensively within the writings of Bernard d’Espagnat (“Conceptual Foundations of Quantum Mechanics”, “Veiled Reality” and “On Physics and Philosophy”). It is d’Espagnat’s strong and well worked out thesis that invokes a notion of unknowable independent reality in the context of an emergent (“emergent” of course not being associated with familiar terms of cause and effect) empirical reality of phenomena “from” independent reality He refers to this version of realism as Open Realism.
It is largely through his writings that I arrived my particular understanding of issues concerning realism, idealism and empiricism.

Incidentally, d’Espagnat was a close colleague of Bell at Cern, and some of the references you make concerning Bell arise within d’Espagnat’s books when he talks about how he and Bell discussed these issues generally, in fact it was d’Espagnat that instigated the Aspect correlation experiments when he was Professor of Physics at the University of Paris-Orsay. Needless to say they were at opposite ends over the realism debate, but they seemed to be good friends despite that! How I wish that he were following this forum, he perhaps could offer an insight into Bell's thinking that you touch upon so often!
PF Gold
P: 674
 Quote by ttn I therefore declare all the votes for "anti-realism" to be void, and hence the correct answer, "non-locality", to be the winner of the poll.
Seems very reasonable to me. By the way, I'm sure everyone appreciates your contribution and detailed posts. Irrespective of the "truth", I always seem to get depressed by reading pro-instrumentalism arguments who seem to consider physics to be the science of meter-readings. Physics in that way would be pretty boring. It kinda of reminds me of behaviourism in the cognitive sciences.
P: 140
 Quote by ttn I think I do understand it. For you, QM is *merely* a mathematical algorithm for generating statistical predictions. It is not actually a *physical theory* at all. I'm not sure that's the wrong way to understand "ordinary QM".
I think there are several equally valid ways to understand it and my way is just one of them.

 Physics is physics, not math. Surely it must be the end goal always to say what the world is like. So if you have some mathematical statistics-generating algorithm that really truly says *nothing* about the physical world, that is totally inadequate.
Physics is always expressed using math and thus every physical law is just a string of symbols, independently of whether it predicts outcomes or just statistics. The theories might differ in how much they say about the physical world, but i think it's wrong to say that statistical predictions say nothing about the physical world. They do say something; they just don't say everything. Newtons law of gravity also holds independently of whether the gravitating object is a point mass or a spherical object with an inhomogeneous radial mass distribution.

 It may be perfectly useful to have it, but it is not a physical theory and I think any true physicist wants a satisfactory physical theory and won't be satisfied by anything less. Hence the search for theories (like Bohm's theory, GRWm/f, MWI) which actually tell (or, in the case of MWI, at least purport to tell) a coherent story about what the *world* is like physically -- a story which doesn't involve any shifty splits and which, at the end of the day, both produces recognizable macroscopic objects and gets the details right for the statistics of how often they should move this way and that.
That's a nice goal, but i think a physical theory can never tell us what the world is like. It's always just a model that explains aspects of the world. Some explain more aspects of the world and some explain less. None explain all and if they did, then there would probably be equivalent models with entirely different ontologies, so the models could still not tell us with certainty what the world is like. For example Bohmian mechanics might be more pleasing to you, but it makes exactly the same predictions as ordinary QM (as far as i know), so we can never know which of these is right.

 Quote by ttn Just as one final thought on the original topic of the thread, I hope people who voted for "anti-realism" in the poll will make sure not to miss my post #204 in which I sketch a mathematically rigorous version of the EPR argument *from locality to* what (I think) people who voted "anti-realism" mean by "realism". Clearly, just as a matter of sheer elementary logic, anybody who thinks that we can elude the spectre of nonlocality by denying (this) "realism", has something pretty serious to think about there. I will note also that, despite a couple of half-hearted attempts, nobody rose to the challenge of showing how the perfect correlations (observed in the usual EPR-Bell scenario when a=b) can be explained by a local but non-realist model. From the point of view of the theorem in #204 this is of course not surprising: "realism" (meaning here deterministic non-contextual counterfactually-definite hidden variables) is the *only* way to explain these particular correlations locally. The correlations and the assumption of locality *logically entail* "realism". That is what that little mini-theorem says. I therefore declare all the votes for "anti-realism" to be void, and hence the correct answer, "non-locality", to be the winner of the poll.
I think thats not a fair way to end the discussion. After all, you just said that the instrumentalist viewpoint might not be "the wrong way to understand ordinary QM". I think that if you take ordinary (instrumentalist) QM and give beable status to only the statistical properties it predicts (including the correlations), then you can formally check Bell's locality criterion (it's just a formal mathematical criterion that can be formally applied to any theory, independent of whether you classify it as physical or not) and it would turn out that instrumentalist QM obeys it. So instrumentalist QM does classify as a Bell-local, non-realistic model that explains the correlations. So in the end, whether there exists such a theory depends on whether you accept individual outcomes as beables or not. There is no mathematical reason that prevents us from applying the Bell-criterion to a theory, which doesn't have individual outcomes as beables and instead gives this status to statistical properties.

--

In the end, i also want to thank you for the discussion. I've also learned something and i will definitely try on a piece of paper, whether the Bell-locality criterion applied to instrumentalist QM classifies it as local. That would probably be one of the coolest things i've come across in the last months.
P: 733
 Quote by rubi I think thats not a fair way to end the discussion. After all, you just said that the instrumentalist viewpoint might not be "the wrong way to understand ordinary QM". I think that if you take ordinary (instrumentalist) QM and give beable status to only the statistical properties it predicts (including the correlations), then you can formally check Bell's locality criterion (it's just a formal mathematical criterion that can be formally applied to any theory, independent of whether you classify it as physical or not) and it would turn out that instrumentalist QM obeys it. So instrumentalist QM does classify as a Bell-local, non-realistic model that explains the correlations. So in the end, whether there exists such a theory depends on whether you accept individual outcomes as beables or not. There is no mathematical reason that prevents us from applying the Bell-criterion to a theory, which doesn't have individual outcomes as beables and instead gives this status to statistical properties. -- In the end, i also want to thank you for the discussion. I've also learned something and i will definitely try on a piece of paper, whether the Bell-locality criterion applied to instrumentalist QM classifies it as local. That would probably be one of the coolest things i've come across in the last months.
Unfortunately, the first thing you'll write down on your paper is "P(A..." and then you'll realize that there's trouble, since "A" here refers to the actual outcome of an experiment -- something you've said isn't part of your instrumentalist version of QM at all. How can the probabilities, attributed by a theory to a certain event, satisfy (or even fail to satisfy) a certain mathematical condition, when according to the theory there is no such event?

Anyway, good luck, and thanks again for the enjoyable discussion.
P: 140
 Quote by ttn Unfortunately, the first thing you'll write down on your paper is "P(A..." and then you'll realize that there's trouble, since "A" here refers to the actual outcome of an experiment -- something you've said isn't part of your instrumentalist version of QM at all. How can the probabilities, attributed by a theory to a certain event, satisfy (or even fail to satisfy) a certain mathematical condition, when according to the theory there is no such event? Anyway, good luck, and thanks again for the enjoyable discussion.
The beables are the statistical properties like probability distributions, mean values and so on. I will not start writing down $P(A$, but instead i will write down $P(<A>|...)$ and then check whether the formal criteron is obeyed.
P: 733
 Quote by rubi The beables are the statistical properties like probability distributions, mean values and so on. I will not start writing down $P(A$, but instead i will write down $P(|...)$ and then check whether the formal criteron is obeyed.
Cool. But please describe this as "Rubi's formulation of locality", not Bell's, when you publish...
P: 140
 Quote by ttn Cool. But please describe this as "Rubi's formulation of locality", not Bell's, when you publish...
Why? You write in your own paper that for the locality criterion $P(b_1|B_3 b_2) = P(b_1|B_3)$,

 Quote by J. S. Bell's concept of local causality (Travis Norsen) $b_i$ refers to the value of some particular beable in space-time region $i$ and $B_i$ refers to a sufficient (for example, a complete) specification of all beables in the relevant region.
So if i choose my beables to be the statistical properties (instead of the outcomes as you do for Copenhagen), then i can formally apply this criterion to the theory, where $b_1 = <A>$ and so on. I'm just using the general definiton and applying it to the special case of instrumentalist QM, where the beables are the statistical properties. This is precisely Bell's formulation of locality applied to the theory of QM with a particular choice of beables. It's not Rubi's formulation.

P.S.: I know that as a convinced Bohmian, you will say: "Nooo, the outcomes must be beables, because the world can't be without outcomes." But for someone who accepts that the world is "nothing but wave function", it is a perfectly valid viewpoint to claim that the beables are the statistical properties.
PF Gold
P: 674
 Quote by Len M The question as to how close empirical reality is to independent reality is an untestable one, so I tend to stay on the side of caution – a miss is as good as a mile, I can’t see the point of assuming a degree of closeness, as if perhaps we only need to concern ourselves with the mechanistic alteration to the “thing in it’s self” by the characteristics of the eye – that to me seems a bit of a cop out, it restores a comfortable feeling that what lay within independent reality is a rough approximation of phenomena....
But agreement with everything you wrote is not inconsistent with violation of Bell's implying non-locality. And I personally agree with pretty well everything you wrote.
P: 39
 Quote by bohm2 But agreement with everything you wrote is not inconsistent with violation of Bell's implying non-locality. And I personally agree with pretty well everything you wrote.
I only made the post in terms of a very small part of ttn’s overall important contribution to this thread, namely when he said:

 Quote by ttn My point is just: if you think we can get any useful information at all about the external world from our senses (and I certainly do), then surely this will have to include basic facts like that there is a 3D world full of stuff that moves around and interacts and that includes things like little flag-shaped hunks of material that sometimes pop up and down. My view is that, if you regard that as even-possibly-mistaken, then you are never going to get anything remotely resembling empirical science off the ground; certainly, if such things "might be wrong", then *literally everything we have ever taken as empirical evidence for anything in science ever* "might be wrong", and then, well, we're totally at sea.

As I said in my post, I see nothing at all wrong in simply accepting that science (as an experimental discipline) belongs quite properly within phenomena. ttn seems to me to picking and choosing in an arbitrary manner between science as practiced within empirical reality (in terms of testability) and the extrapolation of those models to an independent reality that cannot (and does not) involve testability, without seemingly keeping track of what he is doing (at least not in a formal transparent manner that identifies the difference between the scientific status of a model in terms of empirical reality and the same model in terms of independent reality). It's easier for me to keep track of the mix between empirical reality and independent reality because I go the whole hog, I confine the scientific method to phenomena and I reserve the realm of independent reality as being unknowable in a scientific sense and having no correspondence to empirical models, but philosophically being free to conjecture about the nature (and importance) of its existence. For a less extreme stance though, it becomes more difficult to keep track, but I think you have to and be quite transparent about it in public because there is no question that a mix is being invoked between the scientific method involving testability and the extrapolation of that model to a realm of independent reality that cannot involve testability.

But ttn then says
 if you regard that as even-possibly-mistaken
implying that accepting the possibility that empirical reality (phenomena) is not close to independent (external) reality in some manner spells the end of science in that empirical science may all be “wrong”. I don’t see that at all, empirical science is always going to be “right” within empirical reality (in the sense of mathematical predictive models within their domain of applicability) and for me that fact is one of the most remarkable aspects of the scientific method – Newton’s predictive mathematical model, within its domain of applicability, is going to be valid ten thousand years from now, that for me has got enough solidity to more than compensate for being (as ttn says) “totally at sea” because we can't scientifically prove that empirical models have the same applicability within independent reality.

The extract from ttn seems to be something said from the "heart" with conviction and I wondered whether it had any specific relevance to his science as opposed to his philosophical stance. I guess I’m not going to know for sure now that ttn is back to teaching, but I certainly agree with you when you say
 But agreement with everything you wrote is not inconsistent with violation of Bell's implying non-locality
so perhaps that would also be the viewpoint of ttn?
 P: 724 Correct me if i am wrong, but the fundamental constituent of reality are not inadequate classical concepts like 'particle' and 'wave', but information. We are not seeing particles, but always seeing information about particles. The brain is not just a simple collection of particles(as newtonain perspective would dictate), but an(emergent) information processor. At the rock bottom of things, we are not seeing tables and chairs but information about tables and chairs and being such, information has no obligation to be material-like, corpusular-like ot classical-like. While there could be a stunning correspondence between tables and our sensation of tables, we should not overlook the simple fact that we only have access to the information about tables, not the tables themselves. Tthe ultimate nature of tables is not accessible, hence it is not a valid scientific question. I totally agree with Bohr, it's only what we can say about Nature, not what or how Nature is. It's surprizing that we have as good models of reality as we do, even if they fail to makes sense at certain scales.
P: 39
 Quote by Maui Correct me if i am wrong, but the fundamental constituent of reality are not inadequate classical concepts like 'particle' and 'wave', but information. We are not seeing particles, but always seeing information about particles. The brain is not just a simple collection of particles(as newtonain perspective would dictate), but an(emergent) information processor. At the rock bottom of things, we are not seeing tables and chairs but information about tables and chairs. While there could be a stunning correspondence between tables and our sensation of tables, we should not overlook the simple fact that we only have access to the information about tables, not the tables themselves. Tthe ultimate nature of tables is not accessible, hence it is not a valid scientific question. I totally agree with Bohr, it's only what we can say about Nature, not what or how Nature is.
Yes I think I would agree very much with what you say in that you seem to be placing phenomena as the only entity in which we have access to and it is within that framework that we use the scientific method with spectacular success - why should we ask any more of such a successful method in wanting it to be applicable in the same manner to a realm outside of phenomena where the very essence of the scientific method, namely testability cannot be carried out?

My only difference perhaps would be that I do see a need for "something" outside of phenomena from which empirical reality "emerges" (in an unknowable manner) otherwise we have to adopt solipism or radical idealism. I think the consistencies we all observe as phenomena (and agree on) depend on something other than ourselves, so in this sense I am a realist, it's just that I don't see that we can access my "something" that "exists" within independent reality (i.e outside of phenomena) in any scientific sense (at least not as I understand the scientific method in terms of the method requiring a notion of testability).
P: 1,911
 Quote by Len M As I said in my post, I see nothing at all wrong in simply accepting that science (as an experimental discipline) belongs quite properly within phenomena. ttn seems to me to picking and choosing in an arbitrary manner between science as practiced within empirical reality (in terms of testability) and the extrapolation of those models to an independent reality that cannot (and does not) involve testability, without seemingly keeping track of what he is doing...
I think there is a contrast between applied science, the basic research that underlies technology, and pure science, which I think has some kind of understanding as the goal. When you're trying to build a better bridge, or better electronics, or whatever, there really is a sense that you don't need to understand anything, you just need to know reliable rules of the form "In situation S, if you do X, you'll get result Y with probability Z". By this practical criterion for science, there is nothing wrong with describing the orbits of the planets or the energy levels of hydrogen, or the relationship between velocity and kinetic energy as an infinite series, all of whose coefficients are empirically determined. So the Ptolemy scheme for describing planetary motion, with its spheres within spheres within spheres, is really perfectly fine, and Balmer's formula for computing energy levels is perfectly fine. Explaining the null results of the Michelson-Morley experiment by an ad hoc velocity-dependent length contraction and time dilation is perfectly. There is no practical need for fundamental theories, at all.

But there is another kind of science that considers the job not to be done when you have a formula that empirically works pretty well. Some kinds of people are bugged by arbitrariness, by lots of parameters whose values seem meaningless. They prefer to try to understand how those successful formulas come about, why the parameters are what they are. They would like an understanding of the principles involved. Even though we may never experience gravity billions of times stronger than on the Earth, they want to be able to have an idea of what things would be like in those circumstances.

It's really hard to make a decisive partition of science into what's practical and what's pure, because a lot of science that was once considered a matter of intellectual curiosity ended up having practical applications. However, I think that the divorce between practical physics and pure physics has happened, and many of the new discoveries and ideas since maybe the 60s (quantum chromodynamics, supersymmetry, loop quantum gravity, string theory, Hawking radiation, the holographic principle, quark theory, etc.) will likely have no practical applications for decades, if ever.

So to me, it's pretty weird to talk about fundamental physics in purely instrumental terms: All we care about is a way of calculating probabilities for the outcomes of experiments. WHY? Why do you care about a way of calculating probabilities for the outcomes of experiments? If the experiment takes a multi-billion dollar collider to take place, then who cares? Knowing the answer has no practical purpose, it seems to me. If all you care about is the pragmatics of predicting what happens when we perform specific experiments, then fundamental physics is over, it seems to me.
P: 3,181
 Quote by stevendaryl [..] If all you care about is the pragmatics of predicting what happens when we perform specific experiments, then fundamental physics is over, it seems to me.
I agree; regretfully that was the paradigm for the last century, it seems.
PF Gold
P: 5,290
 Quote by rubi Why? You write in your own paper that for the locality criterion ...
Travis channels Bell. So he can present anything as being what Bell says, and you cannot.
PF Gold
P: 674
 Quote by Len M so perhaps that would also be the viewpoint of ttn?
That's a good question and I'm not sure? But my gut hunch is that ttn would not agree with the Kantian and/or epistemic structural realist position that I think both you (if I'm understanding you) and myself seem to subscibe to but who knows?
 PF Gold P: 674 While many of these have been mentioned on various threads/posts I thought I'd post a list of the major papers I've come across arguing that violations of Bell's inequality implies non-locality, irrespective of any other issues (e.g. realism, determinism, hidden variables, pre-existent properties, etc.): Bertlmann’s socks and the nature of reality http://cds.cern.ch/record/142461/files/198009299.pdf J.S. Bell’s Concept of Local Causality http://chaos.swarthmore.edu/courses/...3_2012/002.pdf Local Causality and Completeness: Bell vs. Jarrett http://lanl.arxiv.org/PS_cache/arxiv...808.2178v1.pdf Non-Local Realistic Theories and the Scope of the Bell Theorem http://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/0811/0811.2862.pdf The uninvited guest: ‘local realism’ and the Bell theorem http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/5258...ll_theorem.pdf A Criticism of the article "An experimental test of non-local realism" http://arxiv.org/abs/0809.4000 John Bell and Bell's Theorem http://www.mathematik.uni-muenchen.d...ech/rt/bbt.pdf What Bell proved: A reply to Blaylock http://www.stat.physik.uni-potsdam.d...Bell_EPR-2.pdf Not throwing out the baby with the bathwater: Bell’s condition of local causality mathematically ‘sharp and clean’ http://mpseevinck.ruhosting.nl/seevi..._corrected.pdf Can quantum theory and special relativity peacefully coexist? http://mpseevinck.ruhosting.nl/seevi...k_Revised3.pdf What is the meaning of the wave function? http://www.fyma.ucl.ac.be/files/meaningWF.pdf The Message of the Quantum? http://www.maphy.uni-tuebingen.de/me...papers/zei.pdf Was Einstein Wrong? A Quantum Threat to Special Relativity http://www.stealthskater.com/Documents/Quantum_01.pdf
 P: 373 For a counterweight to above : http://www.iisc.ernet.in/currsci/jul...NIKRISHNAN.pdf
P: 140
 Quote by bohm2 While many of these have been mentioned on various threads/posts I thought I'd post a list of the major papers I've come across arguing that violations of Bell's inequality implies non-locality, irrespective of any other issues (e.g. realism, determinism, hidden variables, pre-existent properties, etc.): ...

Unfortunately, all these papers include the hidden assumption that individual experimental outcomes correspond to some element of the theory of quantum mechanics. They either fail to understand the difference between values that come from the theory and values that are determined by experiment or they secretly use a non-standard theory of quantum mechanics (standard QM supplemented by a mechanism that can in principle predict individual outcomes; everyone knows that this is not the case in the standard theory) and claim it would be the standard theory.

Bell's criterion actually does capture our intuitive understanding of locality after all. You can for example apply it straightforwardly to any classical theory and it captures what we would consider locality of a classical theory. However, these papers apply it to a quantum theory without acknowledging that fact that the quantum theory isn't a classical theory anymore doesn't have something like trajectories of observables anymore (unlike for example Bohmian mechanics) and thus you can't check the criterion for them. You have to check it for the variables of of the quantum theory (or better: a subclass of them, called the "beables") instead. The word "beable" is assigned to those elements of the theory that correspond to what the theory claims to be physically real. In a classical theory or in Bohmian mechanics, the beables would be things like position. Standard quantum mechanics is basically a theory that describes the evolution of probability, so you would choose the beables to be the probability distributions. Notice that even if you wanted to, you couldn't choose position as a beable, because it isn't an element of the standard theory at all. Locality is a property of a theory, so you must apply the criterion to the theory alone without any supplements. So in the end, Bell's locality criterion is actually really good, but applied in a wrong way. It's just that all the generality and terminology involved makes it quite hard to understand what's wrong with the argument.

So what these papers actually prove is that if your theory assumes reality, which means that it does account for the individual outcomes of the experiment, then you can prove that it must be non-local. You can read the proof in ttn's post #204. However, you must note that this proof only holds if your theory really accounts for the outcomes. So the reality assumption ("the theory does account for individual outcomes") implies Bell-non-locality. If your theory is non-real ("it doesn't account for the individual outcomes of the experiment"), then it is still open, whether the it is local or non-local.

If you take standard QM serioursly (that means you accept that it doesn't account for individual outcomes), then Bell's locality criterion actually implies locality, whenever the no communication theorem holds.

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