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

Stephen R Palmquist
2013 THEORIA : an International Journal for Theory, History and Fundations of Science  
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
more » ... vability provides a way of interpreting the observables of quantum mechanics as empirically real even though they are transcendentally (i.e., preobservationally) ideal.
doi:10.1387/theoria.1312 fatcat:hdp2hdmxdbaajmnt5yn6kagszm