Reality Without Realism: On the Ontological and Epistemological Architecture of Quantum Mechanics

Foundations of Physics 45 (10):1269-1300 (2015)

Abstract

First, this article considers the nature of quantum reality and the concept of realism in quantum theory, in conjunction with the roles of locality, causality, and probability and statistics there. Second, it offers two interpretations of quantum mechanics, developed by the authors of this article, the second of which is also a different theory of quantum phenomena. Both of these interpretations are statistical. The first interpretation, by A. Plotnitsky, “the statistical Copenhagen interpretation,” is nonrealist, insofar as the description or even conception of the nature of quantum objects and processes is precluded. The second, by A. Khrennikov, is ultimately realist, because it assumes that the quantum-mechanical level of reality is underlain by a deeper level of reality, described, in a realist fashion, by a model, based in the pre-quantum classical statistical field theory, the predictions of which reproduce those of quantum mechanics. Moreover, because the continuous fields considered in this model are transformed into discrete clicks of detectors, experimental outcomes in this model depend on the context of measurement in accordance with N. Bohr’s interpretation and the statistical Copenhagen interpretation, which coincides with N. Bohr’s interpretation in this regard

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