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Kantian Causality and Quantum Quarks: The Compatibility between Quantum Mechanics and Kant’s Phenomenal World

Palmquist, Stephen R. (2013) Kantian Causality and Quantum Quarks: The Compatibility between Quantum Mechanics and Kant’s Phenomenal World. THEORIA. An International Journal for Theory, History and Foundations of Science, 28 (2). pp. 283-302. ISSN 2171-679X

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Abstract

Quantum indeterminism seems incompatible with Kant’s defense of causality in his Second Analogy.
The Copenhagen interpretation also takes quantum theory as evidence for anti-realism. This article argues
that the law of causality, as transcendental, applies only to the world as observable, not to hypothetical (unobservable)
objects such as quarks, detectable only by high energy accelerators. Taking Planck’s constant
and the speed of light as the lower and upper bounds of observability provides a way of interpreting the
observables of quantum mechanics as empirically real even though they are transcendentally (i.e., preobservationally)
ideal.

El indeterminismo cuántico parece incompatible con la defensa de la causalidad que hace Kant en su Segunda
Analogía. La interpretación de Copenhague de la mecánica cuántica también considera a esta teoría
como evidencia a favor del antirrealismo. Este artículo defiende que la ley (trascendental) de la causalidad
se aplica solamente al mundo en tanto que observable, y no a objetos hipotéticos (inobservables) como los
quarks, detectables solo mediante aceleradores de altas energías. Tomar la constante de Planck y la velocidad
de la luz como límites inferior y superior de la observabilidad nos ofrece un modo de interpretar los
observables de la mecánica cuántica como empíricamente reales, incluso aunque estos sean trascendentalmente,
es decir, preobservacionalmente, ideales.


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Item Type: Published Article or Volume
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Palmquist, Stephen R.
Additional Information: ISSN: 0495-4548 (print)
Keywords: Kant; quantum theory; Copenhagen interpretation; indeterminism; perspectives; law of causality; transcendental idealism; teoría cuántica; interpretación de Copenhague; indeterminismo; perspectivas; ley de causalidad; idealismo trascendental
Depositing User: Users 15304 not found.
Date Deposited: 14 Jan 2014 18:06
Last Modified: 14 Jan 2014 18:07
Item ID: 10176
Journal or Publication Title: THEORIA. An International Journal for Theory, History and Foundations of Science
Publisher: Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea / Universidad del País Vasco
Official URL: http://www.ehu.es/ojs/index.php/THEORIA/article/vi...
DOI or Unique Handle: https://doi.org/10.1387/theoria.1312
Date: May 2013
Page Range: pp. 283-302
Volume: 28
Number: 2
ISSN: 2171-679X
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/10176

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