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Summary The 'Copenhagen interpretation' is a label for a loose collection of ideas originating in the work of Werner Heisenberg and Niels Bohr. What exactly amounts to is disputed; but it characteristically denies that quantum mechanics describes an objective microscopic reality, emphasizing instead the essential role of observation and the measurement context.
Key works Heisenberg 1958 and Bohr 1958 are central to the Copenhagen interpretation. Beller 1999 gives a critical history of the interpretation.
Introductions Howard 2004
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  1. T. Acton, S. Caffrey, S. Dunn, P. Vinson & K. Svozil (1998). Analogues of Quantum Complementarity in the Theory of Automata - a Prolegomenon to the Philosophy of Quantum Mechanics. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 29 (1):61-80.
    Complementarity is not only a feature of quantum mechanical systems but occurs also in the context of finite automata.
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  2. Guillaume Adenier (ed.) (2007). Quantum Theory, Reconsideration of Foundations 4: Växjö (Sweden), 11-16 June, 2007. American Institute of Physics.
    This conference was devoted to the 80 years of the Copenhagen Interpretation, and to the question of the relevance of the Copenhagen interpretation for the present understanding of quantum mechanics. It is in this framework that fundamental questions raised by quantum mechanics, especially in information theory, were discussed throughout the conference. As has become customary in our series of conference in Växjö, we were glad to welcome a fruitful assembly of theoretical physicists, experimentalists, mathematicians and even philosophers interested in the (...)
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  3. Valia Allori (2013). On the Metaphysics of Quantum Mechanics. In Soazig Lebihan (ed.), Precis de la Philosophie de la Physique. Vuibert
    What is quantum mechanics about? The most natural way to interpret quantum mechanics realistically as a theory about the world might seem to be what is called wave function ontology: the view according to which the wave function mathematically represents in a complete way fundamentally all there is in the world. Erwin Schroedinger was one of the first proponents of such a view, but he dismissed it after he realized it led to macroscopic superpositions (if the wave function evolves in (...)
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  4. D. Atkinson (1998). The Light of Quantum Mechanics. Dialectica 52 (2):103–126.
    It is argued that while classical probability theory, as it is encapsulated in the axioms of Kolmogorov and in his criterion for the independence of two events, can consistently be employed in quantum mechanics, this can only be accomplished at an exorbitant price. By considering rst the classic two-slit experiment, and then the passage of one photon through three polarizers, the applicability of Kolmogorov's last axiom is called into question, but the standard rebu of the Copenhagen interpretation is shown to (...)
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  5. Harald Atmanspacher, Complementarity in Bistable Perception.
    The idea of complementarity already appears in William James’ (1890a, p. 206) Principles of Psychology in the chapter on “the relations of minds to other things”. Later, in 1927, Niels Bohr introduced complementarity as a fundamental concept in quantum mechanics. It refers to properties (observables) that a system cannot have simultaneously, and which cannot be simultaneously measured with arbitrarily high accuracy. Yet, in the context of classical physics they would both be needed for an exhaustive description of the system.
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  6. Harald Atmanspacher (2002). Weak Quantum Theory: Complementarity and Entanglement in Physics and Beyond. [REVIEW] Foundations of Physics 32 (3):379-406.
    The concepts of complementarity and entanglement are considered with respect to their significance in and beyond physics. A formally generalized, weak version of quantum theory, more general than ordinary quantum theory of physical systems, is outlined and tentatively applied to two examples.
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  7. Harald Atmanspacher & Hans Primas, Epistemic and Ontic Quantum Realities.
    Quantum theory has provoked intense discussions about its interpretation since its pioneer days. One of the few scientists who have been continuously engaged in this development from both physical and philosophical perspectives is Carl Friedrich von Weizsaecker. The questions he posed were and are inspiring for many, including the authors of this contribution. Weizsaecker developed Bohr's view of quantum theory as a theory of knowledge. We show that such an epistemic perspective can be consistently complemented by Einstein's ontically oriented position.
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  8. Gennaro Auletta & Gino Tarozzi (2004). On the Physical Reality of Quantum Waves. Foundations of Physics 34 (11):1675-1694.
    The main interpretations of the quantum-mechanical wave function are presented emphasizing how they can be divided into two ensembles: The ones that deny and the other ones that attribute a form of reality to quantum waves. It is also shown why these waves cannot be classical and must be submitted to the restriction of the complementarity principle. Applying the concept of smooth complementarity, it is shown that there can be no reason to attribute reality only to the events and not (...)
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  9. Guido Bacciagaluppi (2009). Quantum Theory at the Crossroads: Reconsidering the 1927 Solvay Conference. Cambridge University Press.
    The 1927 Solvay conference was perhaps the most important meeting in the history of quantum theory. Contrary to popular belief, the interpretation of quantum theory was not settled at this conference, and no consensus was reached. Instead, a range of sharply conflicting views were presented and extensively discussed, including de Broglie's pilot-wave theory, Born and Heisenberg's quantum mechanics, and Schrödinger's wave mechanics. Today, there is no longer an established or dominant interpretation of quantum theory, so it is important to re-evaluate (...)
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  10. Manuel Bächtold (2008). Interpreting Quantum Mechanics According to a Pragmatist Approach. Foundations of Physics 38 (9):843-868.
    The aim of this paper is to show that quantum mechanics can be interpreted according to a pragmatist approach. The latter consists, first, in giving a pragmatic definition to each term used in microphysics, second, in making explicit the functions any theory must fulfil so as to ensure the success of the research activity in microphysics, and third, in showing that quantum mechanics is the only theory which fulfils exactly these functions.
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  11. Robert W. Batterman (1991). Chaos, Quantization, and the Correspondence Principle. Synthese 89 (2):189 - 227.
  12. Hugo Bedau & Paul Oppenheim (1961). Complementarity in Quantum Mechanics: A Logical Analysis. Synthese 13 (3):201 - 232.
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  13. J. S. Bell (2004). Speakable and Unspeakable in Quantum Mechanics: Collected Papers on Quantum Philosophy. Cambridge University Press.
    This book comprises all of John Bell's published and unpublished papers in the field of quantum mechanics, including two papers that appeared after the first edition was published. It also contains a preface written for the first edition, and an introduction by Alain Aspect that puts into context Bell's great contribution to the quantum philosophy debate. One of the leading expositors and interpreters of modern quantum theory, John Bell played a major role in the development of our current understanding of (...)
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  14. J. S. Bell (2004). Against ”Measurement'. In Speakable and Unspeakable in Quantum Mechanics. Cambridge University Press 213--231.
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  15. J. S. Bell (1992). Six Possible Worlds of Quantum Mechanics. Foundations of Physics 22 (10):1201-1215.
  16. Js Bell (1992). 6 Possible Worlds of Quantum-Mechanics (Reprinted From Possible Worlds in Humanities Arts and Sciences, Pg 359-373, 1989. [REVIEW] Foundations of Physics 22 (10):1201-1215.
  17. Mara Beller (1996). The Conceptual and the Anecdotal History of Quantum Mechanics. Foundations of Physics 26 (4):545-557.
    The aim of this paper is to combine the intellectual and the psychosocial aspects. blurring the distinction between the conceptual and the anecdotal history of quantum mechanics. The full realization of the importance of such “anecdotal” factors leads to the revision of our understanding of the conceptual development itself. The paper concludes with the suggestion that a major part of numerous inconsistencies in the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum physics are of a psychosocial origin.
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  18. Mara Beller (1996). The Rhetoric of Antirealism and the Copenhagen Spirit. Philosophy of Science 63 (2):183-204.
    This paper argues against the possibility of presenting a consistent version of the Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Physics, characterizing its founders' philosophical pronouncements including those on the realism-antirealism issue, as a contingent collection of local, often contradictory, moves in changing theoretical and sociopolitical circumstances. The paper analyzes the fundamental differences of opinion between Bohr and the mathematical physicists, Heisenberg and Born, concerning the foundational doctrine of the "indispensability of classical concepts", and their related disagreements on "quantum reality." The paper concludes (...)
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  19. Mara Beller (1992). The Birth of Bohr's Complementarity: The Context and the Dialogues. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 23 (1):147-180.
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  20. Y. Ben-Menahem (2002). Quantum Theory and the Flight From Realism - Christopher Norris, Routledge, London, New York, IX +266pp., $26.00 Paperback, ISBN 0-415-22322-. [REVIEW] Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 33 (3):587-591.
  21. Yemima Ben-Menahem (1997). Dummett Vs Bell on Quantum Mechanics. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 28 (2):277-290.
  22. Rodney W. Benoist, Jean-Paul Marchand & Wolfgang Yourgrau (1977). Statistical Inference and Quantum Mechanical Measurement. Foundations of Physics 7 (11-12):827-833.
    We analyze the quantum mechanical measuring process from the standpoint of information theory. Statistical inference is used in order to define the most likely state of the measured system that is compatible with the readings of the measuring instrument and the a priori information about the correlations between the system and the instrument. This approach has the advantage that no reference to the time evolution of the combined system need be made. It must, however, be emphasized that the result is (...)
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  23. Carlton W. Berend (1942). A Note on Quantum Theory and Metaphysics. Journal of Philosophy 39 (22):608-611.
  24. M. Berry (2010). Alisa Bokulich * Reexamining the Quantum-Classical Relation: Beyond Reductionism and Pluralism. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 61 (4):889-895.
  25. John M. Bickers, Of Non-Horses, Quantum Mechanics, and the Establishment Clause.
    This article argues that the quest for neutrality that has dominated a half-century of Establishment Clause jurisprudence is fundamentally misguided. Drawing a clue from an ancient Chinese philosopher, the article suggests that it is no more possible to be neutral "between religion and non-religion" than it would be to be neither a horse nor a non-horse. After examining the futile attempts at a solution to this conundrum in a pair of Supreme Court cases concerning the Ten Commandments, the article turns (...)
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  26. M. Bitbol (1988). The Concept of Measurement and Time Symmetry in Quantum Mechanics. Philosophy of Science 55 (3):349-375.
    The formal time symmetry of the quantum measurement process is extensively discussed. Then, the origin of the alleged association between a fixed temporal direction and quantum measurements is investigated. It is shown that some features of such an association might arise from epistemological rather than purely physical assumptions. In particular, it is brought out that a sequence of statements bearing on quantum measurements may display intrinsic asymmetric properties, irrespective of the location of corresponding measurements in time t of the Schrodinger (...)
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  27. Michel Bitbol (2011). Traces of Objectivity: Causality and Probabilities in Quantum Physics. Diogenes 58 (4):30-57.
  28. Michel Bitbol (2001). Non-Representationalist Theories of Knowledge and Quantum Mechanics. SATS: Northern European Journal of Philosophy 2 (1):37-61.
    Quantum Mechanics has imposed strain on traditional (dualist and representationalist) epistemological conceptions. An alternative was offered by Bohr and Heisenberg, according to whom natural science does not describe nature, but rather the interplay between nature and ourselves. But this was only a suggestion. In this paper, a systematic development of the Bohr-Heisenberg conception is outlined, by way of a comparison with the modern self-organizational theories of cognition. It is shown that a perfectly consistent non-representationalist (and/or relational) reading of quantum mechanics (...)
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  29. Eftichios Bitsakis (1988). Quantum Statistical Determinism. Foundations of Physics 18 (3):331-355.
    This paper attempts to analyze the concept of quantum statistical determinism. This is done after we have clarified the epistemic difference between causality and determinism and discussed the content of classical forms of determinism—mechanical and dynamical. Quantum statistical determinism transcends the classical forms, for it expresses the multiple potentialities of quantum systems. The whole argument is consistent with a statistical interpretation of quantum mechanics.
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  30. David Bohm (1962). Classical and Non-Classical Concepts in the Quantum Theory. An Answer to Heisenberg's Physics and Philosophy. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 12 (48):265-280.
  31. David Bohm (1962). Classical and Non-Classical Concepts in the Quantum Theory. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 12 (48):265-280.
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  32. Niels Bohr (1987). The Philosophical Writings of Niels Bohr. Ox Bow Press.
    v. 1. Atomic theory and the description of nature -- v. 2. Essays 1932-1957 on atomic physics and human knowledge -- v. 3. Essays 1958-1962 on atomic physics and human knowledge -- v. 4. Causality and complementarity.
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  33. Niels Bohr (1963). The Unity of Human Knowledge. In Essays 1958--1962 on Atomic Physics and Human Knowledge. Wiley 8--16.
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  34. Niels Bohr (1963/1987). Essays 1958-1962 on Atomic Physics and Human Knowledge. Ox Bow Press.
    Quantum physics and philosophy--causality and complementarity -- The unit of human knowledge -- The connection between the sciences -- Light and life revisited -- The Rutherford memorial lecture 1958 -- The genesis of quantum mechanics -- The Solvay meetings and the development of quantum physics.
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  35. Niels Bohr (1958/2010). Atomic Physics and Human Knowledge. New York, Wiley.
    These articles and speeches by the Nobel Prize-winning physicist date from 1934 to 1958. Rather than expositions on quantum physics, the papers are philosophical in nature, exploring the relevance of atomic physics to many areas of human endeavor. Includes an essay in which Bohr and Einstein discuss quantum and_wave equation theories. 1961 edition.
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  36. Niels Bohr (1958). Unity of Knowledge. In Atomic Physics and Human Knowledge. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 67--82.
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  37. Niels Bohr (1958/1987). Essays 1932-1957 on Atomic Physics and Human Knowledge. Ox Bow Press.
    Introduction -- Light and life -- Biology and atomic physics -- Natural philosophy and human cultures -- Discussion with Einstein on epistemological problems in atomic physics -- Unity of knowledge -- Atoms and human knowledge -- Physical science and the problem of life.
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  38. Niels Bohr (1958). Atoms and Human Knowledge. In Atomic Physics and Human Knowledge. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 83--93.
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  39. Niels Bohr (1949). Discussion with Einstein on Epistemological Problems in Atomic Physics. In Paul Arthur Schilpp (ed.), The Library of Living Philosophers, Volume 7. Albert Einstein: Philosopher-Scientist. Open Court 199--241.
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  40. Niels Bohr (1948). On the Notions of Causality and Complementarity1. Dialectica 2 (3‐4):312-319.
    SummaryA short exposition is given of the foundation of the causal description in classical physics and the failure of the principle of causality in coping with atomic phenomena. It is emphasized that the individuality of the quantum processes excludes a separation between a behaviour of the atomic objects and their interaction with the measuring instruments denning the conditions under which the phenomena appear. This circumstance forces us to recognize a novel relationship, conveniently termed complementarity, between empirical evidence obtained under different (...)
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  41. Niels Bohr (1937). Causality and Complementarity. Philosophy of Science 4 (3):289-298.
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  42. Niels Bohr (1935). Can Quantum-Mechanical Description of Physical Reality Be Considered Complete? Physical Review 48 (696--702):696--702.
  43. Niels Bohr (1934/1987). Atomic Theory and the Description of Nature. Ox Bow Press.
    Introductory survey -- Atomic theory and mechanics -- The quantum postulate and the recent development of atomic theory -- The quantum of action and the description of nature -- The atomic theory and the fundamental principles underlying the description of nature.
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  44. Niels Bohr (1931). Maxwell and Modern Theoretical Physics. Nature 128:691--692.
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  45. Niels Bohr (1928). The Quantum Postulate and the Recent Development of Atomic Theory. Nature 121:580--590.
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  46. Peter Joshua Martin Bokulich (2003). Horizons of Description: Black Holes and Complementarity. Dissertation, University of Notre Dame
    Niels Bohr famously argued that a consistent understanding of quantum mechanics requires a new epistemic framework, which he named complementarity . This position asserts that even in the context of quantum theory, classical concepts must be used to understand and communicate measurement results. The apparent conflict between certain classical descriptions is avoided by recognizing that their application now crucially depends on the measurement context. ;Recently it has been argued that a new form of complementarity can provide a solution to the (...)
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  47. Matthew J. Brown (2014). Quantum Frames. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 45 (1):1-10.
    The framework of quantum frames can help unravel some of the interpretive difficulties i the foundation of quantum mechanics. In this paper, I begin by tracing the origins of this concept in Bohr's discussion of quantum theory and his theory of complementarity. Engaging with various interpreters and followers of Bohr, I argue that the correct account of quantum frames must be extended beyond literal space–time reference frames to frames defined by relations between a quantum system and the exosystem or external (...)
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  48. Jeffrey Bub (1968). Hidden Variables and the Copenhagen Interpretation--A Reconciliation. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 19 (3):185-210.
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  49. Mario Bunge (1955). Strife About Complementarity (I). British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 6 (21):1-12.
  50. Mario Bunge (1955). Strife About Complementarity (II). British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 6 (22):141-154.
1 — 50 / 143