Erkenntnis 46 (2):143-163 (1997)

Hasok Chang
Cambridge University
Customary discussions of quantum measurements are unrealistic, in the sense that they do not reflect what happens in most actual measurements even under ideal circumstances. Even theories of measurement which discard the projection postulate tend to retain two unrealistic assumptions of the von Neumann theory: that a measurement consists of a single physical interaction, and that the topic of every measurement is information wholly contained in the quantum state of the object of measurement. I suggest that these unrealistic assumptions originate from an overly literal interpretation of the operator formalism of quantum mechanics. I also suggest, following Park, that some issues can be clarified by distinguishing the sense of the term ''''measurement'''' occurring in the quantum-mechanical operator formalism, and the sense of ''''measurement'''' that refers to actual processes of gaining information about the physical world.
Keywords Philosophy   Philosophy   Epistemology   Ethics   Logic   Ontology
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DOI 10.1023/A:1005314013414
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References found in this work BETA

How the Laws of Physics Lie.Nancy Cartwright - 1983 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
Niels Bohr's Philosophy of Physics.Dugald Murdoch - 1987 - Cambridge University Press.
Circularity and Reliability in Measurement.Hasok Chang - 1995 - Perspectives on Science 3:153-172.
Critical Points in Modern Physical Theory.Henry Margenau - 1937 - Philosophy of Science 4 (3):337-370.

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