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

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THEORIA. An International Journal for Theory, History and Foundations of Science, ISSN: 0495-4548, Vol: 28, Issue: 2, Page: 283-302

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Repository URL:
https://repository.hkbu.edu.hk/hkbu_staff_publication/2321; http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/10176
Palmquist, Stephen R.
UPV/EHU Press; University of the Basque Country; Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea / Universidad del País Vasco
Arts and Humanities; Copenhagen interpretation; Indeterminism; Kant; Law of causality; Perspectives; Quantum theory; Transcendental idealism
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article description
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.