Technology and the Conditions on Interpretations of Quantum Mechanics

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    In this paper I consider the problem of interpreting quantum mechanics. I argue that this problem has evolved in part into the problem of selecting tenable interpretations from a set of available interpretations. We lack the means to make this selection. There is consensus that interpretations should be consistent and empirically adequate. But these conditions are not particularly discriminative. Other conditions may be discriminative but are not generally accepted. I propose two new conditions for selecting tenable interpretations, motivated by the use of quantum mechanics in technology. The first requires that interpretations ascribe the physical properties to technical artefacts that are entailed by the ascription of technical functions to those artefacts. The second requires that they ascribe the physical properties represented by engineering sketches of those artefacts. I consider the example of quantum teleportation in some detail.