Quantum mechanics: From realism to intuitionism

The interpretation of quantum mechanics has been a problem since its founding days. A large contribution to the discussion of possible interpretations of quantum mechanics is given by the so-called impossibility proofs for hidden variable models; models that allow a realist interpretation. In this thesis some of these proofs are discussed, like von Neumann’s Theorem, the Kochen-Specker Theorem and the Bell-inequalities. Some more recent developments are also investigated, like Meyer’s nullification of the Kochen-Specker Theorem, the MKC-models and Conway and Kochen’s Free Will Theorem. This last one is taken to suggest that the problems that arise for certain interpretations of quantum mechanics are not limited to realist interpretations only, but also affect certain instrumentalist interpretations. It is argued that one may arrive at a more satisfying interpretation of quantum mechanics if one adopts a logic that seems more compatible with the instrumentalist viewpoint namely, intuitionistic logic. The motivations for adopting this form of logic rather than classical logic or quantum logic are linked to some of the philosophical ideas of Bohr. In particular a new interpretation of Bohr’s notion of complementarity is proposed. Finally some possibilities are explored for linking the intuitionistic interpretation of quantum mechanics to the mathematical formalism of the theory.
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J. Uffink (2011). The Hanneke Janssen Memorial Prize Paper 2010. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 42 (4):213-.

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