Elementary propositions and essentially incomplete knowledge: A framework for the interpretation of quantum mechanics

Noûs 38 (1):86–109 (2004)
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Abstract

A central problem in the interpretation of non-relativistic quantum mechanics is to relate the conceptual structure of the theory to the classical idea of the state of a physical system. This paper approaches the problem by presenting an analysis of the notion of an elementary physical proposition. The notion is shown to be realized in standard formulations of the theory and to illuminate the significance of proofs of the impossibility of hidden variable extensions. In the interpretation of quantum mechanics that emerges from this analysis, the philosophically distinctive features of the theory derive from the fact that it seeks to represent a reality of which complete knowledge is essentially unattainable

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Citations of this work

Betting on the Outcomes of Measurements: A Bayesian Theory of Quantum Probability.Itamar Pitowsky - 2002 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 34 (3):395-414.
Reconstruction of Quantum Theory.Alexei Grinbaum - 2007 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 58 (3):387 - 408.
Betting on the Outcomes of Measurements: A Bayesian Theory of Quantum Probability.Itamar Pitowsky - 2003 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 34 (3):395-414.
Reconstructing Instead of Interpreting Quantum Theory.Alexei Grinbaum - 2007 - Philosophy of Science 74 (5):761-774.

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References found in this work

Logical Foundations of Probability.Rudolf Carnap - 1950 - Chicago, IL, USA: Chicago University of Chicago Press.
The Logical Basis of Metaphysics.Michael Dummett - 1991 - Harvard University Press.
The Problem of Hidden Variables in Quantum Mechanics.Simon Kochen & E. P. Specker - 1967 - Journal of Mathematics and Mechanics 17:59--87.
The Logical Foundations of Probability.Rudolf Carnap - 1950 - Journal of Philosophy 60 (13):362-364.

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