Quantum Mechanics in Search of its Referent

  • Mario Bunge
Part of the Synthese Library book series (SYLI, volume 45)


Quantum mechanics (henceforth QM), probably the most powerful of all scientific theories, is also the one with the weakest philosophy. This weakness resides mainly in the inability to state unambiguously and persuasively what the genuine referents of the theory are. And this inability derives from a desire to comply with a philosophy that wavers between undiluted subjectivism and straight realism. Indeed, the usual interpretation of QM, as found e.g. in the classical treatises of von Neumann (1932) and Dirac (1958), as well as in standard textbooks such as those of Bohm (1951) and Landau and Lifshitz (1958), has been cast in the spirit and letter of the early logical positivism fashionable among scientists between the two wars (see Frank, 1938, 1946, von Mises, 1951; and Reichenbach, 1951).


Quantum Mechanics Physical Theory Classical Physic Axiom System Primitive Concept 
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Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company, Dordrecht, Holland 1973

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mario Bunge
    • 1
  1. 1.Foundations and Philosophy of Science UnitMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada

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