Measurement and the Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics and Relativity Theory

Synthese 102 (2):293 - 318 (1995)

Abstract

The axiomatic approaches of quantum mechanics and relativity theory are compared with approaches in which the theories are thought to describe readings of certain measurement operations. The usual axioms are shown to correspond with classes of ideal measurements. The necessity is discussed of generalizing the formalisms of both quantum mechanics and relativity theory so as to encompass more realistic nonideal measurements. It is argued that this generalization favours an empiricist interpretation of the mathematical formalisms over a realist one.

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