Superdeterminism is one wild conjecture which is an alternative to the standard quantum mechanical interpretation and preserves local realism

Superdeterminism seems to be too much of a stretch. If experimental results are pre decided it simply renders the experiments useless.

Is there any alternative in the academia where something like minimal determinism is discussed? Like just the minimal amount of determinism needed to retain local realism.

For eg: In the classic Bell's test, if the entangled electron pair generator knows the direction of measurement of spin beforehand for even one of the electrons while generating the entangled pair of electrons, hidden variable theory can violate Bell inequality. Instead of the entire system being superdeterministic, only one pair of entangled electron pair generator and electron spin detectors are determined.

  • $\begingroup$ It's neither wild nor is it a conjecture. It is an underlying assumption of Bell's inequalities. Since it's an assumption it is open for discussion, and experiment as to what happens when you remove the "statistical independence" assumption. $\endgroup$
    – JQK
    Commented Jul 27, 2023 at 19:26
  • $\begingroup$ Just because you don't like the implications of Superdeterminism doesn't mean it's "wild" or a "too much of a stretch." Nature doesn't care how you feel about such things. $\endgroup$
    – JQK
    Commented Jul 27, 2023 at 19:27
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ There is no theory/interpretation called superdeterminism. Superdeterminism is the hypothesis that you COULD create such an interpretation. Of course if you did, it would likely be falsifiable and would certainly be "ad hoc" And in fact, the concept of superdeterminism could be applied to explain many things other than results such as Bell's Theorem. For example, the speed of light is really a varying number; but all experiments testing the value yield c because you do not have free will as to what to test. $\endgroup$
    – DrChinese
    Commented Jul 27, 2023 at 20:03

1 Answer 1


Here is a recent paper which attempts to quantify how much "measurement independence" one would have to give up to explain Bell-type experiments.

Whether or not giving up on measurement independence should count as "superdeterminism" depends on your causal framework. In this case, one is speculating about a correlation between a past hidden variable $\lambda$ and some future controllable parameters, the measurement settings ($a,b$). If you take the perspective that the time-order determines the causal order, then the measurement settings are somehow being "caused" by hidden things in the past. This is what most people mean by the term "superdeterminism", and indeed it is a stretch to do any science at all under such a situation.

The modern "interventionist" account of Causation, on the other hand (popularized in particular by Judea Pearl ), tells us that the controllable parameter is the "cause", by definition. From this perspective, any correlation between $\lambda$ and $(a,b)$ is therefore retrocausal. Specifically, the free settings are causing the hidden past parameters $\lambda$. For more on this perspective, see this Rev. Mod. Phys. piece.

  • $\begingroup$ Thank you for the answer. $\endgroup$
    – Hari Kumar
    Commented Jul 28, 2023 at 9:12

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