Graduate studies at Western
Philosophy of Science 35 (4):309-331 (1968)
|Abstract||Discussions of the interpretation of quantum theory are at present obstructed by (1) the increasing axiomania in physics and philosophy which replaces fundamental problems by problems of formulation within a certain preconceived calculus, and (2) the decreasing (since 1927) philosophical interest and sophistication both of professional physicists and of professional philosophers which results in the replacement of subtle positions by crude ones and of dialectical arguments by dogmatic ones. More especially, such discussions are obstructed by the ignorance of both opponents, and also defenders of the Copenhagen point of view, as regards the arguments which once were used in its defence. The publication of Bunge's Quantum Theory and Reality and especially of Popper's contribution to it are taken as an occasion for the restatement of Bohr's position and for the refutation of some quite popular, but surprisingly naive and uninformed objections against it. Bohr's position is distinguished both from the position of Heisenberg and from the vulgarized versions which have become part of the so-called "Copenhagen Interpretation" and whose inarticulateness has been a boon for all those critics who prefer easy victories to a rational debate. Einstein's main counterargument is discussed, and Bohr's refutation restated. The philosophical background and earlier forms of Bohr's views are stated also. Considering that these views are more detailed, better adapted to the facts of the microdomain than any existing alternative it follows that fundamental discussion must first return to them. Their uniqueness is not asserted, however. Here the author still maintains that a hundred shabby flowers are preferable to a single blossom, however exquisite. But a hundred shabby flowers plus an exquisite blossom are more desirable still|
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