The primitive ontology approach to quantum mechanics seeks to account for quantum phenomena in terms of a distribution of matter in three-dimensional space (or four-dimensional spacetime) and a law of nature that describes its temporal development. This approach to explaining quantum phenomena is compatible with either a Humean or powerist account of laws. In this paper, I offer a powerist ontology in which the law is specified by Bohmian mechanics for a global configuration of particles. Unlike in other powerist ontologies, however, this law is not grounded in a structural power that is instantiated by the global configuration. Instead, I combine the primitive ontology approach with Aristotle’s doctrine of hylomorphism to create a new metaphysical model, in which the cosmos is a hylomorphic substance with an intrinsic power to choreograph the trajectories of the particles.
- Primitive ontology
- Quantum mechanics