About this topic
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. Analogues of Quantum Complementarity in the Theory of Automata - a Prolegomenon to the Philosophy of Quantum Mechanics.T. Acton, S. Caffrey, S. Dunn, P. Vinson & K. Svozil - 1998 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 29 (1):61-80.
    Complementarity is not only a feature of quantum mechanical systems but occurs also in the context of finite automata.
  2. Quantum Theory, Reconsideration of Foundations 4: Växjö (Sweden), 11-16 June, 2007.Guillaume Adenier (ed.) - 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 (...)
  3. On the Metaphysics of Quantum Mechanics.Valia Allori - 2013 - 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 (...)
  4. La storia del gatto che era sia vivo che morto.Valia Allori - 2009 - In Enrico Giannetto (ed.), Da Archimede a Majorana: la fisica nel suo divenire. Guaraldi. pp. 273-283.
    Questa è la breve storia , forse un poco romanzata, del gatto che, se non forse il più citato, è di sicuro il più bistrattato della storia della fisica e della filosofia: il gatto di Schrödinger.
  5. Sustainability Assessment and Complementarity.Hugo F. Alrøe & Egon Noe - 2016 - Ecology and Society 21 (1):30.
    Sustainability assessments bring together different perspectives that pertain to sustainability in order to produce overall assessments and a wealth of approaches and tools have been developed in the past decades. But two major problematics remain. The problem of integration concerns the surplus of possibilities for integration; different tools produce different assessments. The problem of implementation concerns the barrier between assessment and transformation; assessments do not lead to the expected changes in practice. This paper aims to analyze issues of complementarity in (...)
  6. The Light of Quantum Mechanics.D. Atkinson - 1998 - 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 (...)
  7. Complementarity in Bistable Perception.Harald Atmanspacher - unknown
    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.
  8. Weak Quantum Theory: Complementarity and Entanglement in Physics and Beyond. [REVIEW]Harald Atmanspacher - 2002 - 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.
  9. Epistemic and Ontic Quantum Realities.Harald Atmanspacher & Hans Primas - manuscript
    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.
  10. On the Physical Reality of Quantum Waves.Gennaro Auletta & Gino Tarozzi - 2004 - 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 (...)
  11. Quantum Theory at the Crossroads: Reconsidering the 1927 Solvay Conference.Guido Bacciagaluppi - 2009 - 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 (...)
  12. Interpreting Quantum Mechanics According to a Pragmatist Approach.Manuel Bächtold - 2008 - 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.
  13. Self-Reference, Phenomenology, and Philosophy of Science.Steven James Bartlett - 1980 - Methodology and Science: Interdisciplinary Journal for the Empirical Study of the Foundations of Science and Their Methodology 13 (3):143-167.
    The paper begins by acknowledging that weakened systematic precision in phenomenology has made its application in philosophy of science obscure and ineffective. The defining aspirations of early transcendental phenomenology are, however, believed to be important ones. A path is therefore explored that attempts to show how certain recent developments in the logic of self-reference fulfill in a clear and more rigorous fashion in the context of philosophy of science certain of the early hopes of phenomenologists. The resulting dual approach is (...)
  14. Chaos, Quantization, and the Correspondence Principle.Robert W. Batterman - 1991 - Synthese 89 (2):189 - 227.
  15. Complementarity in Quantum Mechanics: A Logical Analysis.Hugo Bedau & Paul Oppenheim - 1961 - Synthese 13 (3):201 - 232.
  16. Against ”Measurement'.J. S. Bell - 2004 - In Speakable and Unspeakable in Quantum Mechanics. Cambridge University Press. pp. 213--231.
  17. Speakable and Unspeakable in Quantum Mechanics: Collected Papers on Quantum Philosophy.J. S. Bell - 2004 - 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 (...)
  18. Six Possible Worlds of Quantum Mechanics.J. S. Bell - 1992 - Foundations of Physics 22 (10):1201-1215.
  19. 6 Possible Worlds of Quantum-Mechanics (Reprinted From Possible Worlds in Humanities Arts and Sciences, Pg 359-373, 1989). [REVIEW]Js Bell - 1992 - Foundations of Physics 22 (10):1201-1215.
  20. The Conceptual and the Anecdotal History of Quantum Mechanics.Mara Beller - 1996 - 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.
  21. The Rhetoric of Antirealism and the Copenhagen Spirit.Mara Beller - 1996 - 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 (...)
  22. The Birth of Bohr's Complementarity: The Context and the Dialogues.Mara Beller - 1992 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 23 (1):147-180.
  23. Quantum Theory and the Flight From Realism - Christopher Norris, Routledge, London, New York, IX +266pp., $26.00 Paperback, ISBN 0-415-22322-. [REVIEW]Y. Ben-Menahem - 2002 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 33 (3):587-591.
  24. Dummett Vs Bell on Quantum Mechanics.Yemima Ben-Menahem - 1997 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 28 (2):277-290.
  25. Statistical Inference and Quantum Mechanical Measurement.Rodney W. Benoist, Jean-Paul Marchand & Wolfgang Yourgrau - 1977 - 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 (...)
  26. A Note on Quantum Theory and Metaphysics.Carlton W. Berend - 1942 - Journal of Philosophy 39 (22):608-611.
  27. Alisa Bokulich * Reexamining the Quantum-Classical Relation: Beyond Reductionism and Pluralism.M. Berry - 2010 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 61 (4):889-895.
  28. Of Non-Horses, Quantum Mechanics, and the Establishment Clause.John M. Bickers - manuscript
    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 (...)
  29. The Concept of Measurement and Time Symmetry in Quantum Mechanics.M. Bitbol - 1988 - 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 (...)
  30. Traces of Objectivity: Causality and Probabilities in Quantum Physics.Michel Bitbol - 2011 - Diogenes 58 (4):30-57.
    It is pointed out that the probabilistic character of a theory does not indicate by itself a distancing with respect to the norms of objectification. Instead, the very structure of the calculation of probabilities utilised by this theory is capable of bearing the trace of a constitution of objectivity in Kant’s sense. Accordingly, the procedure of the constitution of objectivity is first studied in standard and in quantum cases with due reference to modern cognitive science. Then, an examination of the (...)
  31. Quantum Statistical Determinism.Eftichios Bitsakis - 1988 - 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.
  32. Interpreting Quantum Theory: A Therapeutic Approach. [REVIEW]Florian Boge - 2017 - Erkenntnis 82 (2):443-449.
    Simon Friederich’s Therapeutic Approach to quantum theory (QT) sheds new light on the status of the quantum state. In particular, Friederich presents revisionary ideas on how to exactly differentiate objective from subjective elements of the theory and thereby improves upon previous stabs at an epistemic interpretation of quantum states. The book not only provides interesting perspectives for the cognoscenti but is also written with sufficient care and free of unnecessary technicalities so as to be accessible and worth reading for the (...)
  33. Quantum Mechanics Between Ontology and Epistemology.Florian J. Boge - forthcoming - Springer (European Studies in Philosophy of Science).
    This book explores the prospects of rivaling ontological and epistemic interpretations of quantum mechanics (QM). It concludes with a suggestion for how to interpret QM from an epistemological point of view and with a Kantian touch. It thus refines, extends, and combines existing approaches in a similar direction. -/- The author first looks at current, hotly debated ontological interpretations. These include hidden variables-approaches, Bohmian mechanics, collapse interpretations, and the many worlds interpretation. He demonstrates why none of these ontological interpretations can (...)
  34. Classical and Non-Classical Concepts in the Quantum Theory. An Answer to Heisenberg's Physics and Philosophy.David Bohm - 1962 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 12 (48):265-280.
  35. Classical and Non-Classical Concepts in the Quantum Theory.David Bohm - 1961 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 12 (48):265-280.
  36. The Philosophical Writings of Niels Bohr.Niels Bohr - 1987 - 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.
  37. Do Quanta Need a New Logic?Niels Bohr - 1986 - In Robert G. Colodny (ed.), From Quarks to Quasars: Philosophical Problems of Modern Physics. University of Pittsburgh Press. pp. 7--229.
  38. The Unity of Human Knowledge.Niels Bohr - 1963 - In Essays 1958--1962 on Atomic Physics and Human Knowledge. Wiley. pp. 8--16.
  39. Essays 1958-1962 on Atomic Physics and Human Knowledge.Niels Bohr - 1963 - 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.
  40. Unity of Knowledge.Niels Bohr - 1958 - In Atomic Physics and Human Knowledge. Wiley. pp. 67--82.
  41. Atoms and Human Knowledge.Niels Bohr - 1958 - In Atomic Physics and Human Knowledge. Wiley. pp. 83--93.
  42. Essays 1932-1957 on Atomic Physics and Human Knowledge.Niels Bohr - 1958 - 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.
  43. Atomic Physics and Human Knowledge.Niels Bohr - 1958 - 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.
  44. Discussion with Einstein on Epistemological Problems in Atomic Physics.Niels Bohr - 1949 - In Paul Arthur Schilpp (ed.), The Library of Living Philosophers, Volume 7. Albert Einstein: Philosopher-Scientist. Open Court. pp. 199--241.
  45. On the Notions of Causality and Complementarity1.Niels Bohr - 1948 - 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 (...)
  46. Causality and Complementarity.Niels Bohr - 1937 - Philosophy of Science 4 (3):289-298.
  47. Can Quantum-Mechanical Description of Physical Reality Be Considered Complete?Niels Bohr - 1935 - Physical Review 48 (696--702):696--702.
  48. Atomic Theory and the Description of Nature.Niels Bohr - 1934 - 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.
  49. Maxwell and Modern Theoretical Physics.Niels Bohr - 1931 - Nature 128:691--692.
  50. The Quantum Postulate and the Recent Development of Atomic Theory.Niels Bohr - 1928 - Nature 121:580--590.
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