Kantian causality and quantum quarks: The compatibility between quantum mechanics and Kant's phenomenal world

Stephen R PALMQUIST*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)283-302
Number of pages20
JournalTheoria (Spain)
Volume28
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Philosophy
  • History and Philosophy of Science

User-Defined Keywords

  • Copenhagen interpretation
  • Indeterminism
  • Kant
  • Law of causality
  • Perspectives
  • Quantum theory
  • Transcendental idealism

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