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The quantum epoché
University of Skövde, School of Bioscience. University of Skövde, The Systems Biology Research Centre. Department of Philosophy, History, Culture and Art Studies & The Academy of Finland Center of Excellence in the Philosophy of the Social Sciences (TINT), University of Helsinki, Finland. (Cognitive neuroscience and philosophy)
2015 (English)In: Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology, ISSN 0079-6107, E-ISSN 1873-1732, Vol. 119, no 3, 332-340 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The theme of phenomenology and quantum physics is here tackled by examining some basic interpretational issues in quantum physics. One key issue in quantum theory from the very beginning has been whether it is possible to provide a quantum ontology of particles in motion in the same way as in classical physics, or whether we are restricted to stay within a more limited view of quantum systems, in terms of complementary but mutually exclusive phenomena. In phenomenological terms we could describe the situation by saying that according to the usual interpretation of quantum theory (especially Niels Bohr's), quantum phenomena require a kind of epoche (i.e. a suspension of assumptions about reality at the quantum level). However, there are other interpretations (especially David Bohm's) that seem to re-establish the possibility of a mind-independent ontology at the quantum level. We will show that even such ontological interpretations contain novel, non-classical features, which require them to give a special role to phenomenaor appearances, a role not encountered in classical physics. We will conclude that while ontological interpretations of quantum theory are possible, quantum theory implies the need of a certain kind of epoche even for this type of interpretations. While different from the epoche connected to phenomenological description, the quantum epochenevertheless points to a potentially interesting parallel between phenomenology and quantum philosophy.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2015. Vol. 119, no 3, 332-340 p.
Keyword [en]
scientific realism, phenomenology, Bohr, Bohm, Hiley, epoché, ontology, Bohmian mechanics, interpretation of quantum theory, complementarity, Copenhagen interpretation
National Category
Philosophy Atom and Molecular Physics and Optics
Research subject
Humanities and Social sciences; Natural sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:his:diva-11592DOI: 10.1016/j.pbiomolbio.2015.08.014ISI: 000367414300011PubMedID: 26276464ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84949321494OAI: diva2:859977

This article is dedicated to Prof. Basil J. Hiley on the occasion of his 80th birthday.

Available from: 2015-10-09 Created: 2015-10-09 Last updated: 2016-01-25

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Pylkkänen, Paavo
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