From Copenhagen to neo-Copenhagen interpretation

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Positive and negative features of the Copenhagen interpretation are discussed. As positive features can be mentioned its pragmatism and its awareness of the crucial role of measurement. However, the main part of the contribution is devoted to the negative features, to wit, its pragmatism (once again), its confounding of preparation and measurement, its classical account of measurement, its completeness claims, the ambiguity of its notion of correspondence, its confused notion of complementarity. It is demonstrated how confusions and paradoxes stemming from the negative features of the Copenhagen interpretation can be dealt with in an amended interpretation, to be referred to as 'neo-Copenhagen interpretation', in which the role of the measuring instrument is taken seriously by recognizing the quantum mechanical character of its interaction with the microscopic object. The ensuing necessity of extending the notion of a quantum mechanical observable from the Hermitian operator of the standard formalism to the positive operator-valued measure of a generalized formalism yields a sound mathematical basis for a transition from the Copenhagen contextualistic-realist interpretation to the neo-Copenhagen empiricist one. Applications to the uncertainty relations and to the Bell inequalities are briefly discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-84
Number of pages10
JournalAIP Conference Proceedings
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2007
EventReconsideration of Foundations - 4 on Quantum Theory - Vaxjo, Sweden
Duration: 11 Jun 200716 Jun 2007


  • Copenhagen interpretation
  • Generalized formalism


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