Quantum Mechanics: An Empiricist View

Paperback | May 1, 1995

byBas C. van Fraassen

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After introducing the empiricist point of view in philosophy of science, and the concepts and methods of the semantic approach to scientific theories, Professor van Fraassen discusses quantum theory in three stages. He first examines the question of whether and how empirical phenomena requirea non-classical theory, and what sort of theory they require. He then discusses the mathematical foundations of quantum theory with special reference to developments in the modelling of interaction, composite systems, and measurement. Finally, the author broaches the main questions ofinterpretation. After offering a critique of earlier interpretations, he develops a new one - the modal interpretation - which attempts to stay close to the original Copenhagen ideas without implying a radical incompleteness in quantum theory. He again gives special attention to the character ofcomposite, many-body systems and especially to the peculiar character of assemblies of identical particles in quantum statistics.

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After introducing the empiricist point of view in philosophy of science, and the concepts and methods of the semantic approach to scientific theories, Professor van Fraassen discusses quantum theory in three stages. He first examines the question of whether and how empirical phenomena requirea non-classical theory, and what sort of th...

Bas C. van Fraassen is Professor of Philosophy at Princeton University.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:560 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 1.26 inPublished:May 1, 1995Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198239807

ISBN - 13:9780198239802

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Table of Contents

1. What is Science?Part I: Determinism and Indeterminism in Classical Perspective2. Determination3. Indeterminism and ProbabilityPart II: How the Phenomena Demand Quantum Theory4. The Empirical Basis of Quantum Theory5. New Probability Models and Their LogicPart III: Mathematical Foundations6. The Basic Theory of Quantum Mechanics7. Composite Systems, Interaction, and MeasurementPart IV: Questions of Interpretation8. Critique of the Standard Interpretation9. Modal Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics10. EPR: When Is a Correlation Not a Mystery?11. The Problem of Identical Particles12. Identical Particles: Individuation and ModalityNotesBibliographyIndex

Editorial Reviews

"van Fraassen provides fresh and readable informal sketches of forbiddingly technical material ... Many will find van Fraassen's view attractive, and all readers will profit from learning about the points in which their thinking differs from his. I strongly recommend the book to anyone whoaims at a thorough background in this bewildering subject." --Paul Teller, University of California, Davis, The Philosophical Review, Vol. 104, No. 3 (July 1995) 18/08/1997