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5.11.15

Bohr's concept of Quantum Mechanics and Kant

I wrote to  Dr Ross 

Dear Dr. Ross, your ideas about the connection between Kant and the Bohr concept of  Quantum Mechanics were finally noticed by the academic world. The article in the Stanford Encyclopedia states this connection explicitly.

Sincerely, Avraham Rosenblum





Dear Mr. Rosenblum,

A number of people and sources see similarities between Kant and Bohr.  However, that depends.  The Stanford page seems to assert that Bohr is a metaphysical realist, but that isn't always what he sounds like.  If he is actually a non-realist, which is often what he does sound like, then that would not be Positivism, which makes no metaphysical judgments, but it also would not be Kant, who posits "empirical realism."  Also, the Stanford page says that Bohr somehow agrees with Kant that things-in-themselves "can't be conceived of in causal terms."  This is quite false.  Kant would say that causality applies both to phenomena and things-in-themselves, but we don't know how it applies to things-in-themselves -- although it may allow for freedom.  Also, the idea that quantum mechanics violates causality at all is questionable.  With populations, quantum mechanics is as deterministic as anything.  Schrodinger's Equation is deterministic.  So the only issue is whether the random factor that enters when we consider individuals violates causality.  Or perhaps in quantum events, like the decay of nuclei, we don't detect an efficient cause.  But a lot of this depends on what we mean by causality.  Aristotle meant a lot more than what we do now.  I discuss some confusions about causality in relation to the movie Knowing -- http://www.friesian.com/why.htm#note-2a.

Best wishes,
Kelley Ross



My note: empirical means  things that are immanent in experience (not transcendent). Realism is these things don't depend on us for their existence. 

What Dr Ross is saying here is QM does not violate locality. And that Bell's Theorem has nothing to do with locality at all. It does say the world is dependent on how we observe it just like Kant says. That is there is a subjective and objective element in the representation. The world is not solely objective. [A good way of understanding this is how Schopenhauer puts it- the representation is  half from the subject and half from the object.]


What we call non-locality is you have  an atom that disappears  here it has to appear somewhere else but it could appear far away. Locality means it cant just disappear. Causes an effects are local.

Dr Ross is in between the lines answering the objections of some people on Kant.